Ernest Hemingway was a lifelong baseball fan and wrote memorably about the sport in In Our Time, A Farewell to Arms, and The Old Man and the Sea.

He even kept a memento from a 1918 Yankees-White Sox game with him during his service in World War I and for many years after. This ticket stub is now in the Hemingway Archives in Special Collections at Oak Park Public Library.

Before being sent to Europe for his World War I service as an ambulance driver, Hemingway arrived in New York City on May 13, 1918 for training with the Red Cross. On May 22, he attended the Yankees game with the ticket marked Game 20.

The New York Sun reported that 1,200 soldiers and sailors were present at the Polo Grounds, along with 4,000 civilians. In 14 innings, the Yankees won a remarkable 1-0 victory over the reigning world champion Chicago White Sox.

“Somewhere at some time there may have been a better ball game played,” wrote the Sun the next day. “But we question it.” Both starting pitchers threw complete games. The Yankees’ Hank Thormahlen threw a 14-inning shutout, while the White Sox’s Eddie Cicotte had his shutout broken up when a Wally Pipp single scored Frank “Home Run” Baker with the winning run in the bottom of the 14th.

Cicotte and several other White Sox players from that day would become known as the Black Sox for allegedly conspiring to throw the World Series the following year. Pipp would remain the Yankees’ starting first baseman until June 2, 1925, when he had a headache and was replaced in the lineup by Lou Gehrig, who would play the next 2,130 games.

On July 8, 1918, the 18-year-old Hemingway was badly wounded in both legs when a mortar hit near him in a trench near the Piave River in Italy. He was taken to the American Red Cross hospital in Milan, where he met the nurse Agnes Von Kurowsky, who later became the basis for his character Catherine Barkley in A Farewell to Arms.

The stub is printed on blue cardboard, and is identifiable as being from the 1918 season because of its reference to the War Tax, which was collected from Americans in 1917-18. It also shows the printed signature of Yankees president, Jacob Ruppert. As part of the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park’s archives, the stub is now in Special Collections at Oak Park Public Library, where it may be viewed along with the rest of the Waring Jones Collection.

Kheir Fakhreldin is the archivist in Special Collections at the Oak Park Public Library. You can learn more about the library’s Special Collections at

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