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His Name Was Bat

Today is the birthday of a western hero. Not every gunfighter could call a US President a personal friend, but one could. His name was Bat, Bat Masterson. For a number of reasons, Bat has always been one of my favorite Western heroes.

It’s interesting to note that this hero of the American West, was born in Canada. He left the family farm to hunt the American Buffalo. Later, a man hired him to lay track for a railroad, which he did, but the man skipped town without paying him and his brother.

Almost a year passed, but the man named Ritter was due to arrive on a train in Dodge. It was reported Ritter was carrying a large sum of money. Bat entered the train car, and persuaded the man to hand over only the money he was owed. He didn’t even have to fire the gun he was showing the man.

From helping to rescue four sisters taken from their family, to his part in the Gun Fight at the Ok Corral, Bat had a life filled with adventure. Yet this was only a part of his story. He would go to have a career as a journalist in New York for the next eighteen years.

As a friend, gunfighter, and lawman he stood beside Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday. As a reporter he wrote about each man. Today we celebrate the birthday of a hero who had a gun and a pen. Or as one writer put it, he had a cane, and a derby hat, his name was Bat, Bat Masterson.

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