Miscellany: Battler

In Pittsburgh, 30 years ago, a strapping battler named James McCoy stood up to John L. Sullivan and endured, for a few rounds, the rataplan of fists as hard and heavy as stove-lids. John L. Sullivan is dead. Battler McCoy is an old man. Last week he was shuffling home from work through a lonely park when he was set upon by three weasel-faced fellows—men who, in soggy swaddling-clothes, were mewing for their mothers when McCoy was trading cuffs with the hardest hitter who ever put on a glove—thin rogues whom, in...

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