A Baseball Player Jilts His Bride

This one is scandalous and involves a player from the early days of the Philadelphia Phillies known as Frank Tully. It appeared in the April 25, 1908 New Orleans Times-Picayune:

FRANK SPARKS’ BRIDE

Goes Insane on Learning That Base
Ball Player Deserts Her.

Beautiful Monroe Girl, Who Secretly
Wedded Last January, Said to
Be Mentally Unbalanced.

Monroe, La., April 24. – One of the biggest sensations Monroe has had for some time came to light this evening when the Daily Star received the following telegram from the Philadelphia North American:

“Bride secretly married by Frank Sparks, Phillies’ pitcher, goes insane on hearing he has deserted her.”
The bride referred to was formerly Miss Mabel Winter, the beautiful and accomplished instructor of the kindergarten department of the City High School, who was serving her fifth term of the school up to her sudden and almost secret departure from the city one week ago to-night. Frank Sparks is also a former resident of Monroe, having for several seasons been connected with different cotton firms of the city as a buyer. He is a baseball player of considerable reputation, and has been on the pitching staff of the Philadelphia National League team for several seasons.

The marriage of Miss Winter to Sparks took place at Alexandria, La., on Jan. 1, while the former was taking her holiday vacation. Judge Whittington performing the ceremony. After the wedding the couple visited Galveston. The marriage was kept a secret, and Miss Winter returned to the city and resumed her position in school and Mr. Sparks went to Opelousas, where he was buying cotton.

About three weeks ago the couple met in Atlanta, Ga., and spent several days together.

Afterwards the bride returned to Monroe, continuing her position in school, the affair still remaining secret. Last Friday Miss Winter tendered her resignation to the Superintendent of the school, and left Friday night for Philadelphia to join her husband. The secret of her marriage to Sparks then became public and has since been the subject for much gossip.

Miss Winter is a native of Boston. Two years ago the Boston Globe offered a prize of $250 to the most beautiful young lady in the New England States, and Miss Winter won, although she was in Monroe at the time and had been for three years previous. her father and mother are dead, and she lived with an aunt in Boston when not teaching.

The Alexandria Town Talk of April 25 added the following:

“Before leaving this city Miss Winter revealed her secret to a few of her closest friends. her romantic marriage had brought disappointment instead of the happiness contemplated. She plainly showed signs of trouble and was exceedingly nervous. Several times of late she had fainting spells. To one friend she stated that she feared she was going insane.”

If you want to know more about Frank “Tully” Sparks, go here: https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/tully-sparks/

Mabel seems to have recovered. The following notice appeared in the News-Star April 10, 1911:

Perkins-Winter.

The following announcement received here will be of special interest to the friends of Miss Mabel Winter:
Mrs. Darwin E. Ranney
announces the marriage of her niece
Mabel Winter
to
Dr. George Edward Perkins
on Wednesday, April the fifth
one thousand nine hundred and
eleven
Cambridge, Massachusetts.

It looks like that one didn’t do well either. They divorced too. Poor Mabel!

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