Jack Spivey
Fictional Character
The House of Daniel
Urban Fantasy
Type of Appearance: Direct narrator
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: 1910
Occupation: Semi-professional baseball player, formerly a petty criminal
Parents: Clayton and "Ma"
Spouse: Mich Carstairs
Children: Sarah Jane, one other
Relatives: Charlie Carstairs (brother-in-law)
Sports Team: Enid Eagles;
House of Daniel;
Gardena Galoshes
Professional Affiliations: Big Stu Kesselring's "business"

Jack Spivey (b. February 1910) was a semi-pro baseball player. In 1934, the underemployed Spivey was living in Enid, Oklahoma, trying to scrape by after the Big Bubble burst, when he lucked onto the roster of the barnstorming team, the House of Daniel.

Trouble with Big Stu[]

In May 1934, Spivey was residing in his home town of Enid, Oklahoma trying to scratch out a living. The Big Bubble had burst in 1929, and Enid was hit hard by the economic downturn. For example, the flour mill cut corners by employing zombies.[1] Spivey's father, Clayton, had left for California in 1932, leaving Spivey to fend for himself.[2] Spivey's primary source of income was working for the local criminal, "Big Stu". He also played as center for the semi-pro Enid Eagles.[3]

On this particular occasion, Big Stu tasked Spivey with roughing up the younger brother of Charlie Carstairs, a local farm supplier. Carstairs refused to meet his end of a deal with Big Stu, and Big Stu had used magic to find out that Carstairs' brother Mitch lived in Ponca City. As Spivey was going that way with the Enid Eagles to play the Ponca City Greasemen anyway, Big Stu was willing to pay a princely sum of fifty dollars to Spivey to strongarm the younger Carstairs.[4] Spivey had some misgivings, as he rarely did this sort of work, but agreed when Big Stu doubled the price, and even gave him a ten-dollar advance so he could go to Ponca City in advance of the Eagles.

Spivey then chased down Eagles teammate Ace McGinty and told him his plan. McGinty assumed a woman was involved, and Spivey let him. After a heartier dinner at Big Stu's, Spivey went home and packed, both for the game and for the Carstairs assault.[5] The next morning, he hopped on a bus for Ponca City. Aside from a detour involving a crashed wizard and a flying carpet, the trip was uneventful. After arriving in Ponca City late, Spivey went to the rooming house were the Eagles usually stayed, and then went looking for Mitch Carstairs in another rooming house nearby, with brass knuckles.[6]

When he found the right room, he knocked and prepared to coldcock Mitch Carstairs when he opened the door. Instead a young woman opened the door. Spivey confirmed that she was Mich Carstairs, short for Michelle, not Mitchell. Deciding he really didn't want to hurt a woman, Spivey convinced Mich Carstairs that she was in danger and that she needed to leave Ponca City immediately. While he couldn't provide much detail, he was convincing enough that she agreed to leave the next day. Spivey then fled after she closed the door.[7]

As he fled, he realized that he'd effectively broken his deal with Big Stu, and that he should also leave town. But he also realized that he had nowhere to go, and for lack of a better idea, decided to go ahead and play in the game the next day, since he owed it to them.[8]

The next day, he was joined by the rest of the Eagles, several of whom gave him a hard time for his supposed assignation. After the team dropped their bags, they changed into their uniforms and headed to the field. As they warmed up, Rod Graver, who doubled as short stop and manager, asked Spivey if he'd done what he needed to do the day before, meaning he knew about Spivey's job for Big Stu. As Spivey didn't want to give away what happened quite yet, he directed Graver to mind his own business. When Graver realized that Spivey hadn't done what he was supposed to do, he warned Spivey that Big Stu wouldn't like it. Spivey told him that Big Stu would have to lump it, and that he'd pay back the ten dollars.[9]

The Eagles won the game, 5-3, with Spivey making some crucial catches. After the take was counted and divided, Spivey also earned $13, which Graver paid in a roll of quarters. The team celebrated,[10] but that night, Spivey realized the roll contained slugs, not quarters. He confronted Graver, who initially protested that Spivey had told him he'd pay back Big Stu. Spivey told Graver that the ten dollars was between Spivey and Big Stu, and that if Graver didn't pay him, he'd tell the rest of the team. Realizing he'd lost, Graver paid Spivey. Spivey also made it clear he was leaving the team. Graver warned him he was being foolish, but wished him luck.[11]

The rest of the team went out for dinner, but Spivey decided to eat on his own, and then walked around Ponca City while he pondered his future. He returned to Mich Carstairs' rooming house and confirmed she was no longer there. A conjure man's helper offered to make Spivey into a zombie. Spivey ran instead. When he slowed down outside of his rooming house, a vampire tried to attack him. Spivey fended him off with a a cross. As the vampire slunk off, Spivey noticed how pathetic he looked. Spivey made it back to his room without further incident.[12]

The next morning, as the team packed up, Spivey announced he was staying. While several offered to help out with his problems, Spivey declined. They all wished them well; Spivey told Rod Graver to tell Big Stu whatever he pleased. After the team left, Spivey changed rooming houses. While moving, he learned that the House of Daniel barnstorming team was playing against the Greasemen that afternoon. Knowing the House of Daniel's reputation, Spivey decided to try to get on to their team.[13]

Joining the House of Daniel[]

Spivey was not impressed by the House of Daniel at first. It did become a rough game, when the Greasmen's pitcher, Close Shave Simpkins, nearly beaned the House of Daniel's Rabbit O'Leary. When the Greasemen were at bat, House of Daniel pitcher Fidgety Frank Carlisle hit their batter in the chest. Things escalated from there. Finally, House of Daniel right-fielder Aaron "Double-Double-A" Aardsma (most commonly "Double-Double") collided with Rabbit O'Leary when they both tried to catch a ball. A doctor was called in. Double-Double was carried off the field, his ankle in a splint. O'Leary needed artificial respiration until he could breath on his own, and then he, too was carried off the field. Then the game continued, with the House of Daniel winning 8-6.[14]

With two outfielders down, the House put out a call for a replacement. Spivey immediately called out. Oddly enough, Mort Milligan, a player for the Greasemen that Spivey had caught out the day before, actually confirmed Spivey was indeed a good player. He impressed the team manager, Harv Watrous, and pitcher Wes Petersen, so they took him on.[15]

In short order, Spivey boarded the House's team bus, and met Eddie Lelivelt, the second baseman. During the ride to Texas, they discussed number of foreclosed and abandoned farms along the road. To Jack's horror, they did pass through Enid. While Spivey did see Ace McGinty staggering down the road, he didn't see Spivey. Spivey only relaxed after the bus left Enid. Appropriately, Lelivelt pointed out Spivey's home and called it another "lost and damned" place. Spivey didn't tell Lelivelt it was his home.[16]

West Texas[]

The bus rolled through the night, heading for Pampa, Texas; Spivey and the Eagles had played there once or twice. A cattle town, Pampa was small enough that the economy hadn't been as badly hurt as other places. The team found a rooming house, and Watrous ordered that Spivey and Lelivelt would have their own room. After too short a sleep, Spivey and Lelivelt got out of bed. Lelivelt helped Spivey put on whiskers, since he didn't have a beard yet.[17] During the game against the Pampa All Stars, Harv Watrous gave Spivey the nickname "Jack the Snake", even though he'd never used that name before. He also took Lelivelt's advise on tightening up on his handling of his bat. The House of Daniel won 5-3.[18]

The arrived in Amarillo the next day to play the Metros. Spivey discovered a difference between his worldview and those of his northern-born teammates when he pointed out to Wes Petersen that Metro Stadium had a section for colored people. Petersen plainly didn't like it, whereas Spivey assumed that it was the standard order of things. However, as they looked at the black people, they took notice of one man who was dressed in a gaudy suit. Spivey realized he was a conjure man.[19]

As the game against the Metros progressed, it was soon clear that the conjure man was working his magic on their behalf. However, Harv Watrous assured the House of Daniel that the Lord would provide, if he were inclined. Still, the House kept making errors that they should not have, and the Metros continued to do better than it seemed the ought to have. So Watrous began citing verses from the Book of Daniel, and in short order, the conjure man fled for the men's room. When Spivey asked Watrous if he were responsible, Watrous denied it. While the conjure man was away, the Metros didn't play nearly as well.[20]

When the conjure man returned, he was carrying a live chicken. He did something to it, and soon the Metros played better. Watrous began praying again, and this time, the conjure man was rendered unconscious. The House of Daniel won 9-4.[21]

The next game was in Tulia against the Ravens. Despite their best efforts, the House of Daniel lost this time. Spivey was surprised to realize that he cared quite a bit more about winning and losing with the House of Daniel than he had with the Eagles.[22] Then it was off to Lubbock to play the Hubbers. Much like Tulia, their pitcher, an overweight fellow was astonishingly good. After a tough game, the House won 1-0.[23] Afterwards, a heavy thunderstorm forced the House to stay in town for two nights.  As the owner of the boarding house the stayed in didn't have a phone, Harv Watrous had to go out in the rain to find a phone and make arrangements to reschedule the games the House would have played over the next days. Finally the rain cleared, and they were on the road again.[24]

They played the Sweetwater Swatters in the morning. The House won 8-3.[25] Then they headed to Big Spring, where they played the Cowboys.While the Cowboys had a good young pitcher, the House won 15-11. Spivey played a role in that victory by catching what would otherwise have been a home-run. Cowboy fans and even a local reporter complimented him on it. The reporter further reported on the catch as the play of the game.[26]

After a game in Odessa against the Coyotes, Spivey idly wondered what the team's ultimate destination was. Lelivelt explained that they'd play across West Texas, then up into New Mexico and into Colorado. They'd play in the Denver Post semipro tournament in June.[27]

After the Coyotes beat the House, the teams divided up the meager take. The House of Daniel had dinner and went to bed. That night, a vampire knocked on the window of Spivey and Lelivelt's room and tried to convince them to let it in so it could feed on them. The vampire (a Texan) promised an egalitarian life in the "brotherhood of blood". It kept at it until Spivey drove it off with his cross.[28]

Spivey and the House made their way through West Texas, playing in Pecos and Fort Stockton, and winning both times.[29] The game in Alpine proved interesting, as it became rough in short order. Moreover, it was tied 3-3 at the ninth, and so had to go into extra innings. By the 19th inning, the game was called on account of darkness.[30]

After eating, the team returned to their boarding house, where Harv Watrous received a telegram that Rabbit O'Leary and Double-Double had left Ponca City that afternoon on a train for Cornucopia, Wisconsin. While Spivey was as glad to hear the news as the rest of the team, Wes Petersen's flip remark that he was completely satisfied with his life left Spivey pondering what he wanted for his own life.[31]

The next day, the team was off for Marfa to play the Marfa Indians. Thanks to the skills of their pitcher, Pablo, the House lost, 3-1. After the game, Spivey approached Pablo and asked why he didn't play in the professional Texas League. Pablo explained that he had a ranch job, a wife, and two kids, and that the pros were too risky.[32] The next stop was El Paso after a two-hundred mile drive through the desert, where they played the El Paso Texans.[33]

Spivey was aware that El Paso was a legitimately large town, unlike every other town they'd played in before. They even fielded a professional baseball team in the Arizona-Texas League, called the El Paso Texans. However, after that league folded, the team became semi-pro, again. However, the Texans still played in Dudley Field, which was still a nice ballyard.[34] During a rough game in May, 1934 that even escalated into a brawl, the House of Daniel beat the Texans 12-2.[35]

That night, the team went to see a Fred and Ginger movie. Just before the movie ended, a chupacabra killed a man in the street. The theater was evacuated, and the team watched as El Paso police cornered and killed the chupacabra. Because one of the cops had been at the game, he let the team see the chupacabra. Spivey found the creature revolting.[36]

New Mexico[]

Spivey was glad to be saying goodbye to Texas as they team headed into New Mexico the next day. Their first game in La Mesa against the barnstorming La Mesa Town Team was not a beanball war, and the most obnoxious things the team ran into that night were the crickets that inhabited their boarding house.[37]

One other thing Spivey noticed was that white players and Mexican players seemed to relate to each other more comfortably than they did in Texas. He was nonetheless astonished when they arrived in Las Cruces to play the Blue Sox, and saw that their center fielder was black.[38] Spivey was initially hostile to the idea of playing against a colored player, but Eddie Lelivelt made it clear that they were going to play, and also made it clear that if Spivey refused to play, it would not go well with Harv Watrous. Spivey relented. However, he couldn't resist calling the player, whose first name was Willard, a "tar baby". Willard gave as good as he got, however, telling Spivey, "Up yours, snowball". Moreover, the Blue Sox pitcher hit Spivey in the ribs when he was up at bat. As Spivey made his way to first, Azariah Summers offered to retaliate. The chastened Spivey told him to let it go. The Blue Sox first baseman also chimed in, pointing out it was hard to be black, and getting crap for it made it worse. In the end, the House won.[39] Willard offered to fight Spivey after the game. While Spivey didn't want to back down, he also realized that he probably couldn't win, and so indicated he didn't have a quarrel with Willard now that the game was over. Willard let it go.[40]

In Alamogordo, the House played the Alamogordo Rebels. While the House won, the crows was small, and no one got paid much.[41] Moreover, that night, Spivey had a strange dream. In the dream, the whole northern skyline exploded with light, the brightest light anywhere, brighter than the sun, brighter than anything. The roar that went with it sounded like the end of the world, and probably was, within the context of the dream. When Spivey awoke, he had the word Trinity in his mind, a name which he felt would be more appropriate to think about in Las Cruces rather than Alamogordo.[42]

In Artesia, the team lost to the Drillers, thanks in part to the odd configuration of the playing field, and the fact that the House just didn't play well.[43] That night, after the team ate their dinner at a greasy spoon, they were nearly attacked by a werewolf. Fidgety Frank Carlisle's quick thinking saved the day: he threw a silver half-dollar at the werewolf, hitting it in the nose. The werewolf ran off, and the group went back to the boarding house.[44]

The House went on to Hobbs the next day, which actually put them closer to Texas than they had been in several days. They did have a blow-out, and had to replace the tire (two police officers arrived after they were done). They made it to their game with the Hobbs Boosters on time, and beat them 12-8.[45] That night, Spivey was woken by a knock at his door. When he answered, he was quickly assaulted by two men sent by Big Stu. They struck him in the jaw and belly, and then left. Eddie Lelivelt helped clean Spivey up. The next morning, Spivey finally mailed the ten dollars to Big Stu as he'd promised before he joined the House.[46]

While still sore the next day, Spivey played against the Carlsbad Potashers. After several extra innings, Spivey was able to hit the ball towards third, disrupting the Potasher's strategy, and getting a run. The House won, 4-3. Spivey received kudos from his teammates.[47]

The next day, they went to Roswell to play the Roswell Giants (passing back through Artesia to get there, to Spivey's bewilderment).[48] The House won, 8-5. It was a civil game, which suited Spivey.[49]. After the game, both teams went out for dinner at a local steak house. As they were leaving the restaurant, Spivey and Azariah Summers both noticed a series of shining circles in the night sky, flying in a "V" formation. A Giant helpfully explained that these were "flying hubcaps", and that they flew over the town periodically.[50]

The next day was a long and harried drive to Albuquerque to play the Dons. While Spivey was not impressed with the "largest city" in New Mexico, he did appreciate the view of the mountains. Moreover, he found playing against the Dons' colored third baseman less uncomfortable than he had playing against Willard in Las Cruces. After the game, Spivey and the third baseman were even able to share some complimentary remarks.[51]

After the game, Watrous visited the local Consolidated Crystal office. When the team inquired, Watrous deflected them. Later, a messenger did arrive at their motor lodge. After he delivered the message, the team successfully buttonholed him, and bribed him into telling them about the message. He told them it was from someone with the Pittsburgh Crawdads, and left. The whole team was familiar with several Crawdad players, and so were more puzzled. However, they didn't ask Watrous about it.[52]

They went up to Santa Fe the next day to play the Saints, where the House won handily.[53] From there, they went to Madrid, a company town established by the coal mines. Naturally, the team was called the Miners. Here, the House won a hard-fought 5-4.[54] The next day, it was Las Vegas, where the House played the Maroons. The House won 6-2, no thanks to Spivey, who struck out once and dropped a fly ball.[55] After the game, the House had to make their way through a gauntlet of beggars, including a young woman working as a prostitute. While none of the players wanted her services, they all felt guilty enough to give her some money.[56]

The next day, the team went to Clovis to play the Pioneers. It was the first game Spivey didn't have to use fake whiskers, his facial hair having grown to a sufficient length. The House won, 8-2. The Pioneers' fans were particularly abusive to the Pioneers when they lost. Conversely, the Pioneers were very good sports. One of them even owned a local restaurant and served the House for free, and the catcher played guitar and sang.

For Spivey, the meal became one of contemplation, as he thought about everything that had happened up to then, including Mich Carstairs. Harv Watrous noticed, and asked if Spivey was unhappy. Spivey lied, claiming he'd eaten too much.[57] When the team returned to their motor lodge, a Consolidated Crystal message was waiting for Watrous. By his reaction, the news was good, but he refused to tell the rest of the team.[58]

The next day, they team made the 200 plus mile drive to Raton,[59] where they wound up losing to the Raton Mice.[60]

Southern Colorado[]

The House played in Trinidad, Colorado the next day. As Trinidad was only 20 miles from Raton, they were able to sleep in. The extra rest didn't help: the House lost to the Trinidad Vampires that afternoon, their second loss in a row. Harv Watrous was livid, and read the team the riot act, quoting from the Book of Daniel rather than swearing. He reminded them that the Denver Post tournament was soon, and that they'd be playing in Pueblo the next day. He warned the team that if they didn't play well there, he'd start pulling in new players like they did with Spivey, which prompted Fidgety Frank to call Spivey a "teacher's pet" under his breath.[61]

The House did beat the Chieftans the next day, no easy task, as the Chieftans had been part of the Western League until 1932, and were still maintained a talented roster. Spivey privately admitted that more went right for the House than it did for the Chieftans. Harv Watrous was mollified slightly.[62] He was even happier in Colorado Springs the next day, when the House beat the All Stars, 9-4.[63]

After the game, the House returned to the boarding house, and finally learned what Watrous had been up to: Carpetbag Booker was waiting, and announced he was going to pitch for the House during the semipro tournament.[64] The team was in awe (though Wes Petersen's pride was hurt, as he'd now be third pitcher). For his part, while Spivey was as equally impressed as the rest of the team, he also had to grapple with the idea of playing with a colored man, even one as famous as Booker. However, his own experiences in New Mexico and Colorado helped open him up to the idea.[65]

The House headed for Canon City, which was actually south of both Colorado Springs and Pueblo, and thus Denver.[66] Booker debuted against the Canon City Fylfots the next day. Most of the crowd cheered, though some booed, and a few of those made racist remarks. In the end, Booker's skilled and flamboyant pitching won the House the game, and even won the crowd over. Half the Fylfots got his autograph after the game ended.[67] Moreover, when the team returned to their rooming house, Harv Watrous learned that the manager of the Colorado Springs All Stars wired Watrous, asking the House to come back and play again, promising a full house if Booker started. Booker agreed, though Watrous told him to stop if he got sore or tired, since the Denver tournament was the most important thing.[68]

The All Stars' manager advertised the game, emphasizing Booker's role as part of the House. He also charged one dollar per person, which people paid.[69] The All Stars did better than the last game, but that still wasn't enough against Booker. Even after Watrous took Booker out in the sixth inning, the House won again. Still, the manager was pleased that the All Stars looked like a real team this time.[70] That evening, the House went out for spaghetti, and talked about the tournament. The next day, June 12, the House set out for Denver.[71]

Denver and the Tournament[]

Denver was the largest city Spivey had ever been in. It was a cattle town at the time, and made use of zombies to clean up the waste.[72] When they arrived, Booker announced that he preferred to go to Denver's Negro section. While the House assured him he could stay with them at a rooming house, Booker responded that he'd be in the lap of luxury among his own folk.[73] Later, they all met up again at the Denver Post building, where Spivey tried to take in all of the teams who'd showed up to play.[74]

After the rules were explained, the House of Daniel learned that they'd be in the first game as the "home" team, playing the Las Cruces Blue Sox.[75] Once again, Booker declined to stay in the boarding house, despite assurances from the team that he was welcome.[76]

The next day, the teams went to Merchants Park. When Willard of the Blue Sox saw that the House had Booker with them, he asked Spivey if he called Booker a tarbaby. Spivey responded that since Booker was on his side, he had not. Willard accepted that answer.[77] With Booker's help, the House beat the Sox, and moved on to the next round.[78] On the third day, the House again advanced after eliminating the San Diego Sailors.[79] The House advanced to the finals after defeating the Cheyenne Buffaloes in a hard game.[80]

The House went up against the Crawdads in the finals, which consisted of three games over three days. The Crawdads, knowing how Carpetbag Booker played, were able to neutralize him to some extent, and the House lost the first game (June 21), 5-1. Booker, who saw the game as something of a matter of honor, was particularly shaken by the loss. The next day (June 22), the House played Fidgety Frank first over Booker's objections. However, the House did win, and Booker had to concede Watrous' was correct.[81] For the third game (June 23),Booker played, and had regained the spark he was missing on the first day. The House won the game, and thus the series.[82] Unfortunately, the House's celebration was cut short by the outbreak of what came to be called the Great Zombie Riots of 1934.[83]

Great Zombie Riots of 1934[]

Amid the sounds of yelling and gunfire in the distance, the players fled Merchants Field with the help of an usher, who explained that the zombies in town, particularly those in the stockyard, had gone mad and started killing every living person the could find. Moreover, rumor had it that the vampires had helped stoke the uprising.[84]

When they got to the House's bus, Watrous invited the Crawdads in. They headed north, fighting the tide of traffic. They helped where they could (despite Spivey's own personal misgivings), including saving the survivors of a car crash from a female zombie. The team beat on her with baseball bats until Booker was able to set her alight with some matches. They were able to render first aid, holding back single zombies, until a whole wave of zombies appeared. The players packed up the injured and headed south, ramming two zombies as they sped to a nearby hospital. After dropping off the injured, the bus headed to Castle Rock.[85]

Aftermath in Colorado[]

The teams arrived in Castle Rock in one piece. The next morning, June 24, for lack of a better idea, Harv Watrous decided to find a way to get to Greeley, where the House was scheduled to play that day. Since Greeley was north of Denver, and as zombies might be rioting there, that seemed a daunting task. The Crawdads' manager, Quail Jennings, began the process of finding a train back home.[86] Carpetbag Booker also headed east to play for the Regents.[87]

Despite the considerable distance they'd have to head east before turning back north again, Watrous insisted they press on for Greeley. They passed through several roadblocks along the way.[88] In Greeley, the played against the Grays, a team made up primarily of Mexican seasonal workers. The Grays were good, and the House was very tired, so the Grays won handily.[89]

After the game, Watrous tried to find a route to Grand Junction by the next day; Denver was still closed as the fight against the zombies continued. When Watrous suggested going over Milner Pass, a Colorado Highway Patrolman argued that it was so high up that even in the middle of the summer, it could have snow. When the patrolman saw that Watrous wasn't going to budge, he contacted a colleague near the pass, who confirmed that there were six inches of snow. While Watrous had been prepared to sneak out at night, Wes Petersen and Fidgety Frank talked him out of it. Watrous arranged for the House play the Grays twice more over the next two days (June 25 and 26). Each team won a game each.[90]

On the third day, June 27, the team went to Fort Collins, where they beat what was essentially a scratch team. They stayed the night indoors, as it was a full moon.[91] The House also kept abreast of the riots.[92]

On the morning of the fourth day after the outbreak, June 28, the roads through Denver were opened up again. The team returned to Denver to get the belongings at the boarding house they'd left behind, and then back to Merchants Park for what they'd left there. However Merchants Park burned during the riots, and everything there was lost. After clearing a final checkpoint, the House made its way to Grand Junction.[93]

They made the game just in time, beating the Grand Junction Falcons, 7-1. The Falcons were good sports though, and wanted hear about the tournament and the riots, so both teams went to dinner. Spivey earned some good will from Fidgety Frank by telling everyone he'd pitched the first winning game against the Crawdads. At the end of the dinner, Watrous announced they'd be headed for Salt Lake City.[94]


Watrous had set up games in Provo, Salt Lake City, and Ogden, moving north. However, the riots force him to change his plans.[95] Thus, the House played the Salt Lake City Industries first on June 29.[96] As Bonneville Park was not designed with the altitude in mind, both teams hit several home runs, and so the House won with its pitching and defensive playing rather than its hitting.[97] Then it was on to Provo, which was south of Salt Lake City, to play the Timps on June 30. Spivey proved crucial to the House's win.[98] And finally, the House went back north, through Salt Lake City to Ogden to play the Gunners on July 1.  The Gunners beat the House, 7-5 in a rough game.[99]

The next day, July 2, they went to Logan to play the Collegians.[100] The Collegians weren't the rough players the Gunners were, and neither were the crowds. When Spivey caught a fly ball, some of the people threw a couple of dollars at Spivey.[101] Later, Spivey was able to score a run. The House won, 6-4.[102]

The went south to Brigham City the next day, July 3, to play the Peaches. Spivey suspected that Watrous didn't plan the schedule as firmly as he claimed. However, Spivey enjoyed seeing a new part of the country, and so didn't mind the erratic travel plan.[103] Thanks to their talented pitcher, the Peaches beat the House, 3-0.[104] Years later, Spivey thought Woodruff made a big mistake by not taking advantage of his talent.[105]


To Spivey's surprise, the team headed north to Pocatello, Idaho rather than another Utah town. On July 4, 1934, they played the Pocatello Bannocks, which was part of a semipro "Twilight League". Still smarting over their loss to the Peaches, the House of Daniel clobbered the Bannocks, 13-4. One Bannock asked Spivey about the riots in Denver; Pocatello had its zombies, and he was worried that whatever happened there by happen in Pocatello. Spivey still didn't know, although he shared the vampire theory. For his part, Spivey thought the best way to prevent zombie riots was to outlaw zombies.[106]

The team stayed for the free dinner (hot dogs and fries) and fireworks show. The most remarkable part of the fireworks show was when a vampire was hit by an rocket and destroyed by the fires.[107]

On July 5, they headed for Idaho Falls to play the Idaho Falls Spuds. The repair work by the Cooperative Construction and Conservation Project slowed them down.[108] They arrived in Idaho Falls to rain; since the House had another game in Twin Falls the next day, the game was not called on account of rain. The House won, 6-5.[109]

The next day, July 6, the House headed down to Twin Falls in a driving rain, and were slowed again by roadwork. The rain had turned into a drizzle by the time they reached Twin Falls, so the game against the Twin Falls Cowboys went ahead. Despite the best efforts of Fidgety Frank and Azariah Summers, the House lost, 13-7.[110] During the game, Fidgety Frank wondered if he should pack it in; he'd been so bad, Watrous took him out after the fifth inning. Watrous assured him he still had plenty of games left.[111]

They headed for Boise on July 7, where they played the Broncos, one of two or three semipro teams who played in Boise. The House inflicted a crushing defeat on the Broncos.[112]

In the early morning hours of July 8, it was on to Lewiston (not far from the Nez Perce reservation) to play the Indians, who had a reputation as a good team.[113] Watrous explained that the Indians were going to join the Idaho-Washington League the next year, and played against pro teams in Spokane, and even played the Tokyo Titans in exhibition matches. For his part, Spivey was surprised to learn that Japan had baseball at all.[114]

Fidgety Frank started, making the most of a commanding lead the House picked up early, and redeeming himself in the process. The House won, 6-1.[115]

Washington State[]

The House headed west now into Spokane, Washington to play a three-game series against members of the Idaho-Washington League, including the Silver Loaf Bakers, the Bohemian Brewers, and the Inland Motor Freight. The three teams played each other regularly.[116] The House beat the Bakers, 5-2, and the Brewers, 9-3, but lost to Inland Motor Freight, 7-4.[117] Watrous had wanted a sweep, and was vocal about his displeasure after the game.[118]

Then it was off to Mason City to play the Beavers,[119] followed by Wenatchee to play the Chiefs,[120] and then Bellingham to play the Chinooks on July 14, 1934.[121]

In the game against the Chinooks, Spivey played right field, given the the expansive distance of right field from home. The weather was cool and overcast, but people came to watch. One of these Chinook fans proved to be quite verbally abusive to the House, Spivey in particular. However, after the House beat the Chinooks, 6-4, Spivey chased down the man, finally recognizing him as his father, Clayton, who'd had no idea that the "Snake" Spivey he was heckling was his own son.[122]

The two had a short reunion. Clayton Spivey had stayed near Eureka, California for a time, before heading north first into Oregon, and then finally becoming a lumberjack in Bellingham. Jack introduced members of the team to his father; Clayton was astonished Jack was even good enough to make the team. Harv Watrous invited Clayton to join them for supper. Instead, Jack offered to take Clayton out for a one-on-one supper, with Jack paying.[123]

After they ordered and ate for a time, Jack asked Clayton why he'd left. Clayton bluntly told Jack that he couldn't stand their house in Enid any longer, and since Jack could take care of himself, Clayton left. The conversation went on in that vein, and finally Jack paid and left. When he returned to the boarding house, Wes Petersen asked after him, and Jack explained that there wasn't anything between him and his father anymore.[124]

The team headed down to Tacoma the next day, where they played three teams in the local municipal league.[125] On July 18, they headed to Yakima to play the Indians. The Indians attempted to use a Yakima man named Ralph to use a Spilyay (coyote) dance to secure a win, but Harv Watrous was able to stop him by quoting from the Book of Daniel. The House won, 7-5. The Indians' manager claimed that Ralph had done it on his own, but the no one in the House believed him. For his part, Spivey found the fact that the Yakima of Washington shared many of the same beliefs about coyote that the local Indians in Oklahoma did.[126]

The remainder of the tour of Washington was a blur for Spivey, as the team barnstormed Richland, Pasco, Kennewick, and Walla Walla. He couldn't really remember how many the House won. He remembered Walla Walla best because the manager of the Walla Walla Bears was named Cliff Ditto.[127] Finally, the team boarded a ferry, and headed down to Pendleton, Oregon.[128]


The House made short work of the Pendleton Buckaroos; Pendleton cared more about rodeos than baseball.[129] At dinner after the game, Eddie Lelivelt explained that the remainder of the tour would follow the path of 1933: the House would work its way through the smaller towns in Oregon and California until the Coast League's season ended. Then the House would play against barnstorming places in California's larger cities.[130]

On July 24, 1934, in The Dalles, the House played a local all-star team who weren't very good. Eddie Lelivelt even pulled the hidden-ball trick on a runner.[131] Then they moved on to Salem on July 25, Corvallis on July 26, and Eugene on July 27. Rain and the full moon kept them in Eugene an extra day.[132]

On July 29, they got a game in Springfield, playing the Booth-Kelly Axemen, a company team for a sawmill.[133] Then it was on to Medford where they played the Medford Nuggets. That game was a hard one; while the House was able to keep a lead 2-1 at the bottom of the ninth, the Nuggets doubled with one out. Using the hidden-ball trick, Lelivelt tagged out a runner with a lead off of second base. When he learned he was out, the Nugget tried to hit Lelivelt, leading to both teams to fight on the field. When it was broken up, the Nugget was kicked out, and the House of Daniel won.[134]

The team went on to Klamath Falls on July 30. Here, Spivey saw his first bigfeet. They even approached one bigfoot working as a lumberjack, who admitted he worked in town because he liked waffles.[135]

The House played the Klamath Falls Pelicans, who won, 4-3..[136] Then they were on to California.[137]


As the House traveled to Redding, Spivey, pondered Mich Carstairs, wondering if she'd made it to California.[138]

The weather in Redding on July 30 was in the nineties when the House played the Tigers. It was a close game, with the Tigers gaining an early lead. In the end, the House was able to win, 7-5.[139]

Spivey again lost track of the towns the team passed through as they headed south throughout the first part of August, 1934. He remembered the heat. Also, the teams in California were good, and the House lost more than Harv Watrous wanted.[140] Still, the intense heat and the incredible grind of road life finally started getting to Spivey.[141]

On evening of August 8, 1934, the House traveled to Los Angeles, staying in the neighboring town of Long Beach, where the House would play a series of local semipro teams.[142] While the whole team was angry that they'd had to drive through most of the evening, Spivey was impressed by Los Angeles and Long Beach. However, even Long Beach had its share of familiar problems: A vampire knocked on the window of Spivey and Lelivelt's window with promises of release from bourgeois respectability and Hollywood stardom. An angry Spivey drove it away with his cross.[143]

The next day, the House played the Shell Oilers, losing 12-5.[144] On August 10, the House played the Chancelor Canfield/Midway Oil. It became a hardball game quickly, with Eddie Lelivelt and Spivey both being ejected at different points in the game. The House won 9-1.[145]

Next day, it was north to Torrance to play the Columbias. It was a polite and congenial game compared with the day before. The House won, and the Columbias' manager congratulated the House for pushing back against the Chancelors.[146]

On August 12, the House went to Gardena to play multiple teams.[147] They played the Strawberry Park Pickers first, which was made up primarily of Japanese-American players. While they were good, the House still won, 6-2.[148]

That evening, after dinner, Spivey popped into a feed store owned by J.N. Hill. He'd been feeling moderately homesick for Enid. In an amazing coincidence, Mich Carstairs was working there. She didn't recognize him at first with his beard. They discussed how they'd each wound up in Gardena, and discussed they night they met. Mich gave him her contact info. When he got back to the boarding house, Harv Watrous informed Spivey that Rabbit O'Leary was back with the team, but that Spivey still had a place with them, although he had to give back his number 14 jersey to O'Leary.[149]

The House played the Redondo Beach Sand Dabs the next day. They were largely fishermen. O'Leary played right field brilliantly, and the House won, 11-3. Mich Carstairs came to the game, but Spivey didn't see her until it was over.[150]

The team made their way around Southern California, arriving in San Diego on August 23, where they lost to the San Diego All Stars. One of the All Stars was a young rookie, aged sixteen, who was an impressive hitter (and went on to bigger things years later).[151]

After that, they stayed in Los Angeles' orbit, as the PCL season was coming to an end. [152] The House actually finished out the year in the area, playing several teams in an around the city, barnstormers and locals alike, which gave Spivey and opportunity to court Mich Carstairs.[153]

In January, 1935, Carpetbag Booker and his own barnstormers came to play. He was not nice to his former teammates; he and his new team handily beat the House, although the payday was enough to take some of the sting out of it. Incidentally, Spivey noticed that Los Angeles seemed to be harder on Negroes, Booker included, than some of the other towns the House had played in of late.[154]

Settling Down[]

It as around this time that Spivey realized he wanted to settle down with Mich. After proposing to her, Spivey let Harv Watrous know he'd be "getting off the bus." He stayed with the House for the duration of their time in California. During this time, Rod Graver from Enid sent word that Big Stu Kesselring had been shot to death. About ten days before the House left, Spivey permanently quit and joined a local building company. He also started playing with the Gardena Galoshes, which gave him an in into the galoshes manufacturer.[155]

Mich gave birth to their first daughter, Sarah Jane Spivey.[156] As he concluded his memoirs, Mich was pregnant a second time, and Spivey hoped it would be a boy.[157]


  1. The House of Daniel, pgs. 1-2.
  2. Ibid., pg. 7.
  3. Ibid., pg. 2-4.
  4. Ibid., pgs. 3-5.
  5. Ibid., pgs 5-9.
  6. Ibid., loc. 9-12.
  7. Ibid., pgs. 12-14.
  8. Ibid., pg.14.
  9. Loc. 325-346.
  10. Ibid., Loc. 369-423.
  11. Ibid, loc. 433-455.
  12. Ibid., loc. 435-553.
  13. Ibid., loc. 553-606.
  14. Ibid, loc. 612-715.
  15. Ibid. loc. 736-814.
  16. Ibid., loc. 814-907.
  17. Ibid., 912-998.
  18. Ibid., 1007-1039
  19. Ibid. 1105-1149.
  20. Ibid., loc. 1149-1182
  21. Ibid., loc. 1182-1204.
  22. Ibid., loc. 1212-1264.
  23. Ibid., loc., 1275-1363.
  24. Ibid., loc., 1374-1429.
  25. Ibid, loc. 1429-1471.
  26. Ibid., loc. 1471-1548.
  27. Ibid., loc. 1548-1592.
  28. Ibid., loc. 1624-1657.
  29. Ibid., loc. 1657-1788.
  30. Ibid., loc. 1809-1858.
  31. Ibid., loc. 1869-1893/.
  32. Ibid., loc. 1904-1967.
  33. Ibid., loc. 1978-2009.
  34. Ibid., loc. 2020, ebook.
  35. Ibid., loc. 2020-2051.
  36. Ibid., loc. 2073-2104.
  37. Ibid., loc. 2106-2156.
  38. Ibid., loc. 2156-2166.
  39. Ibid., loc. 2178-2245.
  40. Ibid., loc. 2268.
  41. Ibid., loc. 2300-2310.
  42. Ibid., p. 128, HC, loc, 2333, ebook.
  43. Ibid., loc. 2333-2364.
  44. Ibid, loc. 2398-2409.
  45. Ibid., loc. 2421-2517.
  46. Ibid., loc. 2527-2572.
  47. Ibid., loc. 2613-2658.
  48. Ibid., loc. 2669
  49. Ibid., p. 145-146, HC; loc 2669-2702.
  50. Ibid., p. 147-148, loc. 2702-2713.
  51. Ibid., loc. 2722-2794.
  52. Ibid, loc. 2816-2870.
  53. Ibid., loc. 2870-2921.
  54. Ibid., loc. 2944-3008.
  55. Ibid., loc. 3033.
  56. Ibid. 3044-3066.
  57. Ibid., loc. 3066-3153.
  58. Ibid., loc 3187-3199.
  59. Ibid., loc. 3199-3255.
  60. Ibid., loc. 3275-3297.
  61. Ibid., loc. 3308-3325.
  62. Ibid., loc. 3369-3391.
  63. Ibid., loc. 3391-3413.
  64. Ibid., loc. 3416-3447.
  65. Ibid., loc. 3447-3458.
  66. Ibid., loc. 3468.
  67. Ibid., loc. 3478-3499.
  68. Ibid., loc. 3509-3520.
  69. Ibid., loc. 3532.
  70. Ibid., loc. 3532-3542.
  71. Ibid., loc. 3564-3604.
  72. Ibid., loc. 3604.
  73. Ibid., loc. 3624.
  74. Ibid., loc. 3636-3657.
  75. Ibid., loc. 3667.
  76. Ibid., loc. 3700.
  77. Ibid., loc. 3734.
  78. Ibid., loc. 3734-3745.
  79. Ibid., loc. 3786.
  80. Ibid., loc. 3796-3807.
  81. Ibid., loc. 3829-3888
  82. Ibid., loc. 3900.
  83. Ibid., loc. 3911.
  84. Ibid., loc. 3920-3972.
  85. Ibid., loc. 3982-4080.
  86. Ibid., loc. 4090.
  87. Ibid. 4135.
  88. Ibid., loc. 4146-4189.
  89. Ibid., 4200-4210.
  90. Ibid., loc. 4124-4240.
  91. Ibid., loc. 4248.
  92. Ibid., loc. 4240.
  93. Ibid., loc. 4248-4293.
  94. Ibid., loc. 4311-4354.
  95. Ibid., loc., 4509.
  96. Ibid., loc. 4373.
  97. Ibid. loc. 4409-4427.
  98. Ibid., loc. 4436-4508.
  99. Ibid., loc. 4509-4524.
  100. Ibid., loc. 4552.
  101. Ibid., loc. 4579.
  102. Ibid, loc. 4588-4609.
  103. Ibid., loc. 4609-4618.
  104. Ibid. loc. 4618-4635.
  105. Ibid., loc. 4654-4664.
  106. Ibid., loc. 4664-4690.
  107. Ibid., loc. 4690.
  108. Ibid. loc. 4699.
  109. Ibid., loc. 4708-4743, ebook.
  110. Ibid., loc. 4743-4789.
  111. Ibid.
  112. Ibid., loc. 4803-4846.
  113. Ibid., loc. 4846-4864.
  114. Ibid., loc. 4846-4883.
  115. Ibid, loc. 4901-4921.
  116. Ibid., loc. 4921-4930.
  117. Ibid., loc. 4930-4982.
  118. Ibid., loc. 4982-4992.
  119. Ibid., loc. 4992-5002.
  120. Ibid., loc. 5035-5044.
  121. Ibid., loc. 5053.
  122. Ibid., loc. 5062-5095.
  123. Ibid., loc. 5095-5132.
  124. Ibid., loc. 5141-5161.
  125. Ibid. loc. 5200-5265.
  126. Ibid., loc. 5284-5356.
  127. Ibid., loc. 5398.
  128. Ibid., loc. 5404.
  129. Ibid., loc. 5404.
  130. Ibid., loc. 5404-5414.
  131. Ibid., loc. 5442-5470.
  132. Ibid., loc. 5479.
  133. Ibid.
  134. Ibid., loc. 5488-5523.
  135. Ibid., loc. 5523-5563.
  136. Ibid., loc 5563-5591.
  137. Ibid. 5602.
  138. Ibid., loc. 5602.
  139. Ibid., loc. 5620-5646.
  140. Ibid., loc. 5646-5664.
  141. Ibid., loc. 5664-5681.
  142. Ibid., loc. 5698-5734.
  143. Ibid., loc. 5752.
  144. Ibid., loc. 5762-5780.
  145. Ibid., loc. 5789-5815.
  146. Ibid., loc. 5825-5834.
  147. Ibid., loc. 5834.
  148. Ibid., loc. 5852-5861.
  149. Ibid., loc. 5869-6011.
  150. Ibid. 6022-6050.
  151. Ibid., loc. 6050-6086.
  152. Ibid., loc. 6086
  153. Ibid., loc. 6103-6129.
  154. Ibid. loc. 6129-6147.
  155. Ibid., loc. 6157-6287.
  156. Ibid., loc. 6287.
  157. Ibid., loc. 6296.