Given the chance baseball will actually be played in this pandemic year, I figured we might as well go back to the last time that happened, in search of a suitable quote for CryptoSoxery No. 11. The one I found when checking out the 1918 Sox has nothing to do with pandemics, but it's kind of fun anyway.
But first, last week's answer, a quote from the late (as far as the Sox are concerned) great Adam Eaton about a subject of the greatest concern among players in the MLB rules for COVID-19 coping, to whit, sunflower seeds:
When I was in college, that's what I lived off of … Just put in some seeds and get the little chicken pack, and just put the pack in your mouth with the seeds, and all of a sudden you have ramen-noodle flavored seeds. Instant.
For this week's CryptoSoxery, we head back to the year of the Spanish Flu, an abbreviated season for all of baseball, but especially for pitcher Jack Quinn, born Joannes Pajkos and one of only four major leaguers from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Quinn had quite a career, not making it to the bigs until he was 25, but lasting until he was 49, the oldest pitcher to win a game — when he was 48 — until Jamie Moyer came along (well, maybe Satchel Paige).
Quinn was only with the White Sox for the shortened 1918 season, and only pitched in six games (going 5-1), but he had an excellent career.
At least he had an excellent career throwing the ball. Fielding it, maybe not so much, at least according to journeyman second baseman and later brilliant Dodgers executive and baseball wit Fresco Thompson:
VX (DSFP GKTWW) QXANWRXC ON OVSO ZXWXMSQAX JTOFVXML'
KWTNW OVSO FSAAXC OVX CTMO FTMFATWR OVX BNKWC OVX XHOXWO
NU OVXTM UTXACTWR MSWRX
As usual, thanks to wordles.com for their magic encryption machine.
For those unfamiliar with cryptoquotes, it's a simple letter substitution system, same letters all the way through ... an H for a P, etc. You solve the puzzle by looking for the most common letters, beginning with E and working through the Wheel of Fortune favorites, then looking for familiar patterns.
This week's puzzle is a little easier if you just notice the two words in parentheses near the beginning and give it about three seconds' thought.
Good luck. The answer and another CryptoSoxery next week.