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Eddie Gaedel Midget Pinch Hitter Probably my favorite sports story is the day a midget, Eddie Gaedel, batted in a major league game. The date was August 19, 1951. The lacklustre St. Louis Browns were hosting the Detroit Tigers in a Sunday doubleheader. Browns' owner Bill Veeck promised that anyone who bought a ticket would see a memorable sight. He was right. Gaedel, all 3'7" of him, took part in a brewery promotion between games. Gaedel, clad it a batboy's uniform bearing the number 1/8 and carrying a toy bat, made baseball history in the first inning of the second game when he batted for outfielder Frank Saucier. Bob Cain, the Detroit pitcher, nearly doubled over in laughter at the sight of Gaedel and walked him on four pitches--all of them high. Once Gaedel trotted down to first base he was replaced by pinch runner Jim Delsing. Gaedel's picture appeared in virtually every newspaper in North America the next day. That same day American League president Will Harridge banned midgets from baseball. Most of the players involved in the stunt relished their connection to it. Jim Delsing said, 'A lot of guys have hit 50 home runs in a season, but I'm the only guy who ever ran for a midget.'
Tags: Eddie  Gaedel  baseball 
Added: 22nd November 2007
Views: 3775
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Posted By: Lava1964
Ron Luciano Remember flamboyant American League baseball umpire Ron Luciano? During the 1970s he was the sport's most colorful arbiter. To relieve the tedium during dull games, Luciano would call runners out by pumping his fist numerous times. He would chat and joke with players, pat them on the back when they did well, and engage in bits of mischief. He had a long-running feud with Baltimore Orioles' manager Earl Weaver, whom he once ejected from both ends of a doubleheader. When Luciano quit umpiring to become a baseball broadcaster for NBC in 1980, Weaver said, 'I hope he takes this job more seriously than he took his last one.' Luciano authored five books of baseball anecdotes that were well received. So it came as a shock to the baseball community when the good-natured and well-liked Luciano inexplicably took hs own life in January 1995 at his home in Endicott, NY. He was 57. He left a suicide note containing detailed funeral instructions, but gave no reason for why he had decided to kill himself.
Tags: Ron  Luciano 
Added: 21st July 2008
Views: 2311
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Posted By: Lava1964
Name this Hall of Fame Ballplayer Can you name this Hall of Fame baseball player? Here's a hint: He accomplished the rare feat of hitting a pinch hit three-run home run in both ends of a doubleheader on June 17, 1930.
Tags: who  is  he 
Added: 21st June 2009
Views: 699
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Posted By: Lava1964
Willard Hershberger - Baseball Suicide The only active major league baseball player to commit suicide during a season was Cincinnati Reds' catcher Willard Hershberger. The 30-year-old Hershberger was in his third season as a backup catcher for the Reds. Often moody, Hershberger was a loner who was extremely critical of his own play. When regular Reds' catcher Ernie Lombardi was injured during the 1940 season, Hershberger took over, batting a very respectable .309 and playing well defensively. On July 31, though, the Reds blew a late lead against the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds. Hershberger blamed himself for the loss and became sullen. The Reds then travelled to Boston where they lost both games of a doubleheader to a weak Boston Bees team on August 2. Afterwards, Hershberger met with Reds' manager Bill McKechnie to discuss personal problems. The next day, when Hershberger failed to appear at the ballpark, a search of his Boston hotel room found Hershberger dead in a pool of his own blood. He had slit his wrists with a razor. (There was a history of suicide in the family: Hershberger's father had killed himself in 1926.) Manager McKechnie never elaborated on the personal issues he had discussed with his troubled catcher.
Tags: Willard  Hershberger  baseball  suicide 
Added: 1st October 2009
Views: 2748
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Disco Demolition Night - 1979 Disco Demolition Night--one of baseball's most ill-conceived promotions--caused a rare MLB forfeit on July 12, 1979. It occurred at Chicago's Comiskey Park between games of a Thursday doubleheader between the hometown White Sox and visiting Detroit Tigers. Popular Chicago disc jockey Steve Dahl had been fired from radio station WDAI when he mentioned--on the air--that he listened to the album-oriented rock of rival station WLUP rather than his own station's fare--predominantly disco tunes. Dahl was subsequently hired by WLUP, known locally as "The Loop." The 1979 White Sox were a mediocre team struggling to attract decent crowds, so the team's management was willing to try anything to try to draw new fans. Dahl, in conjunction with Mike Veeck (son of then-White Sox owner Bill Veeck), devised a promotion: Anyone who brought a disco record to the ballpark would be admitted for just 98 cents. The records would be collected, placed in a large crate in center field, and blown up by Dahl between games. Dahl hyped the event on The Loop, hoping that 12,000 people might show up--double the typical Thursday attendance at Comiskey Park. The turnout exceeded all expectations. An estimated 90,000 people turned up at the 52,000-seat stadium. When the box office stopped selling tickets, thousands of people still got in by climbing over walls. It was an atypical baseball crowd to be sure. Broadcasters Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall commented on the "strange people" wandering throughout the stands. When the crate was filled with records, stadium staff stopped collecting them. The "fans" who still had records soon realized they were shaped like frisbees. A few began to throw records from the stands during the game. After the first game, a 4-1 Tigers' win, Dahl, clad in army fatigues and a helmet, proceeded to center field. The crate containing the records was rigged with explosives. Dahl led the crowd in chants of "Disco sucks!" prior to triggering the explosion. When detonated, the explosives tore a hole in the outfield grass and a small fire began burning. Dahl triumphantly circled the warning track in a jeep before leaving the field. Once Dahl left, the White Sox started warming up for the second game, but thousands of fans rushed the field. Some lit more fires. Others pulled down the batting cage and wrecked it. Bases were stolen and chunks of the outfield grass were ripped away. Most trespassers wandered around aimlessly, though a number of participants burned banners, sat on the grass, ran from security and police and threw records into the air. Veeck and Caray used the PA system to implore the fans to vacate the field, but to no avail. Eventually the field was cleared by police in riot gear. Six people reported minor injuries and 39 were arrested for disorderly conduct. The field was so badly torn up that the umpires decided the second game could not be played. The next day American League president Lee MacPhail forfeited the second game to the Tigers on the grounds that the White Sox had not provided acceptable playing conditions. For the rest of the season, fielders complained about Comiskey Park's playing surface being substandard. No AL game has been forfeited since that night.
Tags: baseball  riot  disco  Comiskey  Park 
Added: 30th January 2012
Views: 4802
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Posted By: Lava1964
Disco Demolition Night The day Disco died. Promotion goes wild,98 cents and a disco record gets you in. 1979 Comiskey Park. 90,000 people inside and outside the park went crazy after they blew a crate of disco records on the field between a Twinight double header between the Detroit Tigers and the White Sox.
Tags: Steve  Dahl    Disco  Rock  and  Roll  disco  demolition  night  Cominskey  Park 
Added: 11th June 2012
Views: 1400
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Posted By: Marty6697
Eddie Grant Memorial Resurfaces Eddie Grant was a Harvard-educated ballplayer who played for four MLB teams between 1906 and 1915. After his baseball career ended, Grant enlisted in the army during the First World War at age 34. He rose to the rank of captain. On October 5, 1918, a few weeks before the war ended, Grant was killed by enemy shell fire in the Argonne Forest. On Memorial Day 1921, the New York Giants, Grant's final MLB team, unveiled an enormous brass plaque that was handsomely mounted on a five-foot granite marker that sat in the deepest part of the Polo Grounds underneath the home team's clubhouse. From the memorial's dedication until the Giants abandoned New York and the Polo Grounds in 1957, a solemn wreath-laying ceremony was held at the Grant monument every year, usually between games of a Memorial Day doubleheader. At the conclusion of the final game played at the Polo Grounds on September 29, 1957, souvenir hunters mobbed the field. The New York Times reported that three teenagers were seen prying the bronze plaque off the monument. Rumors that the police ultimately recovered the plaque were never verified, and its whereabouts remained a mystery for nearly 42 years. In late July 1999, the Eddie Grant Memorial plaque was discovered in the attic of a home in Ho-Ho-Kus Township, NJ. It had been formerly owned by Lena and Gaetano Bucca. The new home owners, Brian and Deborah Lamb, came across the plaque carefully wrapped in a blanket and hidden under a trap door in the attic. Brian Lamb contacted Baseball Reliquary Board member, Wendy Brougalman, a former business associate, with news of the discovery. How did the 100-pound plaque end up in a New Jersey attic? The Lambs purchased the home from the Bucca family after the death of Lena Bucca in 1998. Gaetano Bucca, a former New York City police officer, died in 1974. Gaetano, who retired from the force in January 1958 and subsequently moved with his family to New Jersey, served in the city's 32nd precinct, an area of jurisdiction encompassing the Polo Grounds. It is assumed that that Officer Bucca and a few allies had arranged to take the plaque with the intention of delivering it to the Eddie Grant American Legion Post 1225 in the Bronx. The plaque never made it there. Benjamin Bucca, Gaetano's only surviving son and a respected probate attorney, had no knowledge at all of the 100-pound plaque situated just above his head in his former bedroom. "You know, I never felt comfortable in that bedroom," he said. "Now I know why! That thing could have fallen on my head in the middle of the night and flattened me. My Pop was always a bit of a mystery, but this . . . This is . . . What the hell was he thinking about?'"
Tags: Baseball  Eddie  Grant  Memorial  recovered 
Added: 8th October 2014
Views: 1359
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Posted By: Lava1964
Baseball Fan Killed By Stray Bullet - 1950 On Tuesday, July 4, 1950, while awaiting the start of a Brooklyn Dodgers-New York Giants holiday doubleheader at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, 53-year-old Barney Doyle was killed from a bullet to the head. Doyle, a passionate Giants fan from New Jersey, had come to the sold-out event with his 13-year-old neighbor, Otto Flaig, who had been eagerly awaiting the trip to the Polo Grounds for weeks. Just as the teams entered the field, Doyle turned to speak to his youthful companion and then suddenly slumped over. Fans seated nearby thought Doyle had merely fainted, but quickly realized the situation was far more serious when they saw blood pouring from a severe head wound. Police later discovered that a 14-year-old boy, Robert Peebles, at a nearby housing project on Coogan's Bluff had fired the shot indiscriminately over a five-foot parapet to celebrate the Fourth of July. He had found the .45-caliber gun in Central Park. Newspapers also reported that fans who had bought standing-room passes for the sold-out doubleheader callously fought over Doyle's vacated seat. Because of his age, Peebles shockingly could only receive a juvenile delinquency charge. Doyle had recently been forced to retire from his job due to health concerns; attending ballgames had become one of the few outings he was permitted to do. The photo below ran in the next day's New York Daily News. (If anybody cares, the Giants and Dodgers split that day's doubleheader.)
Tags: Barney  Doyle  Murder  Polo  Grounds  baseball   
Added: 6th March 2015
Views: 1762
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Posted By: Lava1964
Andrew Shaw Disallowed Headbutt Goal From Game #2 of the 2015 NHL Western Conference finals, Andrew Shaw of the Chicago Blackhawks 'scores' an overtime goal against the Anaheim Ducks with a creative soccer-style header. It was a play that few fans had ever seen before--and many wondered if it was a legal way to score a goal. It's not. By rule a goal cannot be scored if the puck is deliberately directed into the net with anything other than a player's stick. The goal was properly disallowed. However, many fans think the rules ought to be amended to allow such a play to count as a legitimate goal. Chicago won the game with a goal that actually counted in the third overtime period. This clip is from Hockey Night in Canada's coverage of the game.
Tags: Andrew  Shaw  NHL  disallowed  goal  header 
Added: 20th May 2015
Views: 746
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Posted By: Lava1964

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