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1970s / Herb Washington Pickoff - 1974 WS
In 1974 Oakland Athletics' owner Charlie Finley signed 22-year-old Herb Washington to an MBL contract. Washington's baseball experience was minimal, but he did hold the indoor world record in the 50-yard dash. Throughout the 1974 season, Washington never once batted or played a defensive position. His sole task was to pinch-run. He stole 29 bases in 45 attempts--which is not really a good success rate for a fast MLB baserunner. In Game #2 of the 1974 World Series, Washington was brought in to pinch-run for Joe Rudi in the top of the ninth inning with one out and the A's trailing the L.A. Dodgers 3-2. To the delight of baseball traditionalists who viewed Washington as an unqualified interloper, Mike Marshall decisively picked off Washington in front of a huge NBC television audience. Curt Gowdy and Vin Scully call the play. Washington's out effectively squelched an A's rally. (They had scored twice in the top of the ninth to make the game close.) The Dodgers won the game 3-2. Washington was cut by the A's in May 1975 and never played baseball again.