When Evers was managing the Cubs in 1913, his biggest hothead was third baseman Heine Zimmerman (pictured below) who by mid-June had been ejected five times. Then an anonymous letter from a mysterious “Irishman” arrived at the Chicago Tribune with one half of a one-hundred dollar bill enclosed. The letter indicated that if Zimmerman could go two weeks without getting ejected, the other half of the bill would be his.
Zimmerman thought it a joke until umpire Bill Klem handed him the half note at home plate the next day. Zimemrman quickly stuffed it in his back pocket and behaved himself. But the next day he got into an argument with Johnny Evers and was yanked out of the game. A downcast Zimmerman brightened when he was told he was disqualified from the money only if an umpire tossed him, not his own manager.
Zimmerman continued on–holding his tongue and constantly fingering the bill in his pocket. One day Joe Tinker asked to see it and thinking it a gag began to tear the note in half again–a horrified Zimmerman grabbed it back. He behaved himself right up to the final day when he was called out on a close play at home and screamed “No!” But he then walked off without further incident.
After the fourteen days, the home plate umpire handed Zimmerman the rest of the note. Zimmerman held it up, asked Evers to examine it, and then kissed it. After the game he said he had learned his lesson and thanked whoever it was who had given him the reward–no one ever came forward to admit it.
Could the mysterious “Irishman” have been Johnny Evers himself?