Go to the Internet search engine Google and type in “Tinker, Evers, Fight” and you will get nearly 15,000 different results. And the differing theories on what happened between the Chicago Cubs famed double play combination are just about as varied as the number of search results the event produces produce.

The basic facts are: Sometime late during the 1905 season, as the Cubs were on their way by train from games in Cincinnati to their next stop to face the Cardinals in St. Louis, they played a series of three exhibition games in Southern Indiana against local teams, beginning with a 6-0 win in Vincennes on Sept. 12. The next day, Chicago downed the locals in Bedford by a 15-0 score, followed by a 7-3 win over the Washington Grays on Sept. 14.

At some point during those three days, Chicago shortstop Joe Tinker and Cub second baseman Johnny Evers became involved in an onfield fight just prior to the start of a game. The dispute started earlier in the day when Evers left ahead of the team and took a horse drawn carriage to the ballpark, leaving Tinker behind at the team motel.

Once all parties were on the field, the situation came to a head, resulting in the two future Hall of Famers coming to blows before being separated by teammates and fans just prior to the start of a game.

That started a feud between the two which would last for three decades until Tinker and Evers reconciled in the 1930s. But the dispute has spawned a lingering question as to where exactly the fight took place. Recently, Washington Mayor David Abel received a letter from a writer on the East Coast who, in working on a book, asked if Abel had information on the fight between Tinker and Evers which took place in Washington on Sept. 14, 1905. Abel referred the matter to both the Times-Herald and the Carnegie Public Library in Washington, which found an account of the game between the Grays and the Cubs in the Democrat from Sept. 15, 1905, though no reference to a fight is included in the story.

Various authors have differing views on the location of the fight. Ed Hartig and Gil Bogen, two historians the Times-Herald was referred to by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, both responded to queries from the paper citing that the fight took place in Bedford on Sept. 13. But Art Ahrens, author of several books on the Cubs, credited the fight as occurring on Sept. 14, which would place it in Washington. In addition, several Web sites also date the fight as occurring on Sept. 14.

However, research by the Times-Herald at the Bedford Public Library indicates that the Stone City can stake a claim to the Tinker-Evers fight.

One of the subheads under the headline “Windy City’s Pilgrims defeat Bedford Boys” from the Sept. 13, 1905 edition of the Bedford Daily Mail says “Visitors start game with fight.”

The sixth paragraph seems to lay to rest any disagreement as to the matter: “Just before game opened Tinker and Evers, Chicago players, got into a fight, but were pried apart by Wicker (Cubs starting pitcher Bob Wicker, a Bedford native) and other players, and members of the crowd. Neither was hurt.”

In later years, however, Hartig says even the fall out from the fight became disputed. While Tinker maintained the source of his rift with Evers dated to the fight, Evers would trace its origins to a game in 1907, when Tinker made a hard throw to Evers even though the two players were only about 10 feet apart. Regardless, Hartig says the split continued until 1937, when Tinker and Evers reconciled, then appeared together at a Wrigley Field ceremony in June of that year honoring Frank Chance.

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