Ring Lardner was regarded as unusual when he made the switch from writing baseball humor to being the prolific author of witty essays and short stories. No writer had ever examined baseball as a source for serious literary material until Lardner did it with his stories about Jack Keefe, the prototype of all eccentric rookies, in You Know Me, Al. Lardner based his fictional character and the events of his baseball stories on his experiences covering the Chicago teams for the Tribune, and his series “Pullman Tales” delighted readers of The Sporting News. He eventually gave up beat coverage, confining his reporting to the coverage of annual events such as the World Series. His sardonic outlook is best exemplified by a comment directed at overly inquisitive children. “Shut up, I explained,” he wrote.
Lardner suspected the White Sox of throwing the 1919 World Series from the start and walked through the team’s train car during the Series singing a self-penned ditty, “I’m Forever Blowing Ballgames,” to the tune of “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles,” a popular song of the day.