the phantom double play




Willard Mullin cartoon 1

Willard Mullin cartoon 2



A double play is one of the most beautiful things to watch being executed in baseball.

The cartoon is a powerful weapon in the hands of a master cartoonist. I realize this despite my poor aptitude for art appreciation. Political cartoons have been around practically forever.

Posted here is a cartoon about the “phantom double play” by Willard Mullin of the New York World-Telegram and Sun. It was originally published in Sport magazine and was republished in The Fireside Book of Baseball, edited by Charles Einstein (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1956). I have owned this book since boyhood.

The cartoon is self-explanatory. A caption reads: “The double play is one of the most exciting plays in the game … let’s not cheapen it with the phantom phonies.”

The cartoon appeared in the published book as a two-page spread. Here, I had to post it as published, so that the left and right hand panels are separated, unfortunately.


— Roger W. Smith

   October 2017

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