Retrosheet Newsletter, V6 #1 March 1999

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The Retro Sheet

Official Publication of Retrosheet, Inc.

Volume 6, No. 1 March 1999



Table of Contents

View from the Vault
Annual Meeting
Courtesy Runner Sighting
Courtesy Fielder !
Retrosheet in the News
Game Account Acquisitions
Projects
Proofing
Ruth’s and Gehrig’s Contrasting Day
Attention Todd McFarlane, Baseball Grabber
Strange and Unusual Plays
Hidden Ball Tricks
Ted Turocy Strikes Again
Gehrig’s Streak Threatened by All-Star Contest
Costs Scott $40 to Play in His 971st Straight Game
The Boston Massacre
No Jackrabbit, Eh?
Problem
Letters to the Editor
Designated Announcer???
Uniform Rules Change
War Takes Toll
Baserunning 101
Short Items
The Scoreboard
View from the Vault
David W. Smith, President

New Database at www.retrosheet.org

Retrosheet is about to launch a new feature on our web page that will be a great service to baseball researchers. In the second issue of The Retro Sheet, back in July of 1995, I described the game logs we had which listed the basic data for all Major League games: date, teams, location and score being the major items. These logs were prepared from computer files that Arnie Braunstein had created from the data gathered over several years by Bob Tiemann. The primary use I have made of them is as checklists to identify which games we still need to acquire. We now have permission to publish this information and are going to do so on our web site, but in a greatly expanded format. Thanks to a major effort by Tom Ruane, we are generating a database that will list 105 pieces of information about each game, covering just about everything one could want to know, including such things as the line scores for both teams for each game; starting pitchers; winning, losing and saving pitchers; umpires; even the identities of the managers. The first season to be released in a few weeks is 1998 and we will steadily work backwards, in proper RetroFashion. Of course we still need a lot of data for some seasons and this database should definitely be seen as a work in progress to be continually enhanced as we expand and improve our information. If you are interested in helping to fill in some of the gaps, for example, by researching attendance figures or umpires, please contact Tom Ruane at

truane@bestweb.net

since Tom is the coordinator of this effort and will organize the data-gathering expeditions. The files we post will be excellent adjuncts to our play by play data and can be valuable even for games for which we don't have an account. This is an exciting opportunity to make Retrosheet even more valuable as a historical resource; many thanks to Tom, Arnie and Bob for the many hours of work that were necessary to get us to this position.

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Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of Retrosheet, Inc. will be held at the Scottsdale Radisson Resort during the weekend of June 24-27. Please check the SABR convention program for details of the room location.

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Courtesy Runner Sighting

Ted Turocy has found another courtesy runner. It happened on 6-8-1911 in a White Sox game at New York. Russ Ford hit Roy Corhan on the head with a pitch, and Hal Chase allowed the Sox to send in Ping Bodie to run, even though he was already in the lineup. In the bottom of the inning, Bodie returned to his station in center field, but Corhan was replaced at ss by Tannehill, who moved over from 1b. Pitcher Doc White took over at 1b. [Ed note: this brings our total of known courtesy runners to eleven. All of them are listed on our web site.]

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Courtesy Fielder !

Dave Smith received an e-mail from Vincent Reda of the University at Albany. Mr. Reda said: "This week's acknowledgment of your scoresheet project by Total Baseball was well deserved. I've had your Retrosheet bookmarked on my Netscape for several months, and even pulled out and printed out every game of 1967. I was surprised to see that courtesy runners were so prevalent. In a separate study I did on the outfield play of Tris Speaker, I came across a courtesy fielder. You might have this one, but here it is:

"On 9-1-1917, Detroit was in Cleveland, Speaker was on 3b in the bottom of the first with Joe Evans at bat. Tris tried to steal home but Evans hit away and lined a ball into Speaker's face. Detroit manager Hughie Jennings, as a courtesy, allowed Tris to sit out in the second inning while his face was sewn up. Elmer Smith played cf in the top of the second and Speaker went back in for the third.

"Thank you, and thanks for the work you are doing for baseball diehards like myself."

That’s a nice response from our web site (kudos again to the webmasters) and what a story concerning Speaker. This one will be added to the list of Courtesy Runners with an asterisk!

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Retrosheet in the News

Congratulations to Retrosheet volunteer Joe Dittmar. In December, Jayson Stark of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baseball America called Joe a "SABR genius" and recommended Joe’s book Baseball Records Registry, calling it the "incredible box-score compendium." The book is a well-written collection of interesting games and in it Joe thanks Retrosheet for valuable source material. This book would be a valuable addition to anyone’s baseball library.

Total Baseball Daily, an electronic digest of news, featured Retrosheet over a three-day period in January. This publication, edited by Gary Gillette and Stuart Shea, has a large readership and their coverage of us was both complete and flattering. The articles included a short description of our purpose with requests for assistance and some of our more interesting discoveries over the last few years. We received several inquiries as a result of the series. Thanks to the folks at Total Sports for the feature.

Don Malcolm’s Big Bad Baseball Annual includes detailed Jackie Robinson data. Retrosheet provided Don with situational stats on Robinson.

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Game Account Acquisitions
by Dave Smith

Retrosheet continues to add to its collection, with material coming from many directions. In addition to microfilmed newspaper accounts from New York (1910 Evening Telegram, 1934 World-Telegram), we have a set of scorecards from 1952 from a fan who went to some Cubs, Cardinal, Browns and Giants games. Credit goes to bulldog Luke Kraemer, who contacted Tom Sykes with some of our wish list for that year.

Speaking of 1952, Bob Kistler continues to give us huge support from Boston. He recently sent in a package with 65 game accounts for the Braves and Red Sox (three are partials), up through June 25 of that year. This set is in addition to the 51 games for the 1953 Red Sox that he finished at the end of last year (three of these are also partials). Just having copies of these accounts is great, but Bob goes further and compares multiple sources and provides us with immaculate copies that make inputting a breeze.

Bob Yahr has copied hundreds of game accounts from Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Louis, working in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The coverage in this era is pretty sparse, especially for the NL, so Bob's diligence in checking multiple sources in multiple libraries is what it takes to ferret out these accounts.

In January I had a wonderful experience with Georgetown Books in Bethesda, Maryland. The owner of the store, Andy Moursund, is a SABR member with some nice baseball items. I found out about a set of scorebooks he had from Chicago, covering games from 1936, 1937, and 1938. These books, kept by a fan, were "Texaco Scorebooks", distributed by the company and were complete with scoring instructions, player photographs, and even umpire photographs! Each book had between 15 and 20 games and Andy allowed me to borrow them, go down the street to a copy shop and make copies. I was able to get accounts for a total of 183 games, covering both the Cubs and White Sox.

We also have had success in cleaning up some loose ends with four teams: Cleveland, San Francisco, Oakland, and San Diego. The most notable part of this story is that the A's allowed Retro-volunteer David Horwich to borrow their books and make copies for everything they had from 1968-1977. Before this, the only Oakland source we had was broadcaster Monte Moore, whose books were pretty sketchy on things like runner advances. Thanks to David for the many hours he put in to help us out.

David Vincent found another Sunday game in The New York Times. This was a Yankee contest in St. Louis on 9-17-1922. Both teams were fighting for the AL pennant and this was dubbed the "little world series" by the writers. The Times carried all three games of the series. We had two of them already but some details were added to our accounts. However, the Sunday game is new for Retrosheet. Please be aware that Sundays are our worst day for games in newspapers. If you ever see an account for a Sunday game, please copy it and send it along. Thanks.

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Projects

Mike Dehler has completed the 1974 Cardinals and moved on to the 1967 NL. There are many volunteers working on the 1974 AL, including Russel Tisseman, Doug Burks, Wade Merritt, Mike Bender, Gary Regulski, Bob Militello, Mike Tedrick and Bob Kapla. David Horwich has done hundreds of games for the 1973 AL since last summer, so we are nearing the end for the first year of the DH. Dave Lamoureaux finished the 1969 AL and is nearly done with 1970 for that league, which is also being worked on by Clem Comly, David Vincent, Stuart Shea, Jeff Bower, and Tom Shrimplin. Greg Beston is attacking the 1972 Red Sox, while Luke Kraemer, Wayne Townsend, Ted Turocy, Ron Fisher, and Jim Herdman are working on the rest of the AL. Mark Pankin, Bill Disney and Mark Dobrow are finishing off the 1976 NL and Scott Fischthal is plowing through the 1965 NL, specifically the Cubs (oh, the pain for a Mets fan!) while Mark Dobrow and Christopher Chestnut work on the 1966 NL. Apologies to anyone who was left out, but you can see that there are lots of eager Retrohands out there. Stay tuned for an exciting development to be reported in the next issue.

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Proofing

Several people answered the call in the last issue of TRS to help with proofing data for the Orioles. Dave Smith has now gotten the necessary material together and all those volunteers will be receiving a package from him very soon. In addition to the Orioles project, there are other proofing efforts underway, with John Jarvis working on the 1977 NL and new volunteer Clifton Parker agreeing to examine the 1930 NL, specifically the Chicago Cubs. Clifton is interested in the details of Hack Wilson's RBI total, which has been discussed on these pages and elsewhere and will use Retrosheet data as part of his study. He will proof each game against either New York Times or Sporting News box scores as part of that effort.

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Ruth’s and Gehrig’s Contrasting Day

Detroit, 7-13-1934 - Babe Ruth hit his 700th career home run at Navin Field today, a shot over the right field wall into the street. The blow came in the third inning with two outs and Earl Combs on first base; the opposing pitcher was Tommy Bridges. A boy recovered the ball in the street and brought it to the Bambino on the Yankee bench, receiving $20 from the Babe for the souvenir. In the intervening 64 and a half years the value of important home run balls has escalated somewhat, as the recent sale of Mark McGwire's 70th home run ball for $3 million will attest.

Lou Gehrig had left the field with one out in the bottom of the second, after leadoff batter Billy Rogell had popped out to ss. Lou's affliction was described as lumbago and he was replaced at 1b by Jack Saltzgaver, who had been playing 3b. This was the earliest departure for Lou in any game of his streak, in which this was game 1426. Two weeks earlier he had been hit in the head by a pitch during an exhibition game in Norfolk, Virginia. On July 14, the lead item in the story on the Yankee game in the New York World-Telegram concerned Lou's physical problems. On this Saturday Gehrig's streak came its closest to ending. His back was still extremely sore and he received treatment for it all night. However, in order to keep the streak alive, manager Joe McCarthy batted Lou first and listed him as the ss; Jack Saltzgaver was the starting 1b-man. With two strikes, leadoff man Lou singled to right field. Red Rolfe immediately ran for him and took over at shortstop in the bottom of the first. This episode is often reported as an early sign of the illness which would take his life in 7 years, although that is difficult to know for sure.

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Attention Todd McFarlane, Baseball Grabber

New York, 5-8-1915 - It isn’t safe to try to get away with a ball when a home run is hit into the bleachers at the Polo Grounds. Yesterday in the ninth inning Roger Peckinpaugh of the Yankees hit a home run into the lf bleachers and the ball was grabbed by Guy Clarke, a chauffeur, who tried to get away with the prize. Tom Kelly, one of the park policemen, tried to persuade Clarke to give it up but he refused, so he was arrested by a policeman who was summoned from outside of the park.

In the Night Court, Magistrate Sims told Clarke that he had no more right to take a baseball at the Polo Grounds than he had to take his (the magistrate’s) watch. James McIlravy of the park police stated to the court that between 25 and 30 balls were lost at the grounds each week. Clarke was fined $3.

McFarlane bought McGwire’s 70th HR ball for $3 million.

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Strange and Unusual Plays

Retrosheet volunteers Bill Deane, Ron Fisher, Bob Militello, Dave Smith and Ted Turocy contributed to this section.

6-01-1901 BSN @ NY1 – In the sixth inning, Gene DeMontreville fanned. His bat flew out of his hands to Christy Mathewson, who picked it up and threw to first base, retiring the runner by the bat route, a new play.

6-04-1901 BRO @ CIN – Jimmy Sheckard walked and stole 2b. Daly walked. Sheckard went to sleep off second and was nailed, Pietz to Steinfeldt. Sheckard kicked on the decision and made some remark that brought a bench warrant from the umpire. 'Lefty' Davis was sent to left. En route to the bench Sheckard stopped at the plate long enough to spit in Cunningham's face. Sheckard was ejected from the field by the police, while the crowd cheered wildly and hissed the offender.

7-16-1904 DET @ NYA – Highlanders’ pitcher Jack Chesbro stole home in the tenth inning to win his own game, 9-8.

5-12-1911 NYA @ DET – Detroit’s Ty Cobb put on a one-man-show to beat the Highlanders, 6-5. Cobb scored from 1b on a short single to rf, tallied from 2b on a wild pitch, and stole home with the winning run.

5-13-1911 PIT @ BSN – After Braves manager/1b Fred Tenney was ejected for arguing a call in the ninth, Bill Rariden replaced him at 1b according to the Pittsburgh Post account. However, encyclopedias list Rariden as never playing 1b in his career. (Coincidentally, his only non-catching appearances came in 1911: 3 games at 3b and 1 at 2b.)

6-3-1911 CHA @ BOS – With Harry Lord on 2b and Nixey Callahan on 1b and one out for the Pale Hose in the top of the sixth, Shano Collins struck out. However, he was put out K23 with the runners advancing. Here is a good example of a rule that has been changed during the Retrosheet era.

6-10-1911 BRO @ PIT – The Pirates' Bobby Byrne stole around the horn in an unusual fashion. His trip began as part of a double steal with Fred Clarke on 3b. Clarke scored on a controversial call, and while Dodgers' catcher Bill Bergen jawed at plate umpire Bill Klem, Byrne snuck to 3b and apparently was awarded a stolen base. Dots Miller walked, and the double steal was worked again, completing Byrne's circuit. It was an unusual game for baserunning: the Pirates suffered a 64(1)4(2)/DP when pitcher Babe Adams running on 2b for some reason attempted to scamper back to second on a ground ball (perhaps forgetting the force?), and the Pirates attempted a triple steal in the eighth up 8-0, which succeeded in scoring a run but only due to a throwing error (no stolen bases were awarded).

6-10-1911, 6-12-1911 BRO @ PIT – Dodgers shortstop Bert Tooley left two consecutive contests with nosebleeds.

6-22-1911 PHI @ BRO – Phillies pitcher Bill Burns failed to cover 1b on a slow roller off the bat of Dodgers' leadoff hitter Al Burch, and was immediately replaced. Burns was one of the people involved on the gamblers’ side in the betting scandal which tainted the 1919 World Series.

6-28-1911 CIN @ PIT – In the ninth inning with two outs and the game tied, manager Fred Clarke wanted to send George Gibson to hit in place of the pitcher Lefty Leifield with runners on 1b and 2b. Umpire Eason would not allow him to enter the game as he had been announced as catcher prior to the game, even though he did not appear. (If this is true, should not Gibson be credited with a game played for this game?)

8-8-1911 PHI @ PIT – Bill Keen joined the Pirates and got the call to start at 1b, making his debut at 18 years old. In trying to go from 1b to 3b on a double by Owen Wilson in the fifth inning, Keen injured his leg and had to leave the game. He played in six more contests that year, all as a pinch hitter, but never played again in the big leagues. After he left the 8-8 game, the next batter singled; thus the injury deprived Keen of scoring his only ML run.

4-26-1921 – George Smiley, cf of the Knoxville team in the Appalachian League, made an unassisted triple play against Pellico. With runners on 1b and 2b, Smiley ran in for a line drive, caught the ball and stepped on 2b. Then he touched the runner from 1b to complete the play.

5-7-1922 CHA @ DET – Ty Cobb homered off Red Faber in the seventh inning with two runners on base. Alfred Kenning, a 65-year-old fan, dropped dead while cheering for the Tiger leader.

7-18-1922 CHA @ NYA – White Sox 3b Eddie Mulligan crashed into the stand while chasing a foul and was slightly shaken up. According to the NY Times, "Time was taken out while Doctors Huggins and Gleason examined the player and the fence."

6-1-1923 CLE @ DET – With the score tied at 1 in the top of 3rd with no outs, Bill Wambsganss was on 2b and Tris Speaker was on 1b. Cleanup hitter Frank Brower attempted to sacrifice, but popped it up into a triple play! [1(B)6(2)3(1)/BP/TP] Instead of motivating the Tigers, it's Cleveland that goes on the rampage, scoring in 5 of the final 6 innings to win easily, 17-4, thanks to 16 hits and 11 walks.

6-3-1923 CLE @ DET – After tossing a complete game just the day before, Tiger pitcher Herman Pillette was summoned to the mound again in the 8th inning, ahead 7-5, 1 out, 2 on. Pillette blew the save, allowing both inherited runners to score to tie the game, but got the side in order in the 9th. He's then credited with his 2nd win in two days when his team pushed across the winning run in the bottom of the 9th.

6-23 to 7-22-1923, Cleveland enjoyed a 31-game(!) homestand during which every team in the AL would pay a visit. It started slow (2-7 record, including 5 losses in a row) and ended on a low note (2-3), but were 12-5 in between (16-15 record).

7-4-1923 (G1) DET @ CLE – In the 10th inning, Tiger catcher Larry Woodall was called out at 2b on a force play. He argued the call and was ejected, leaving Manager Cobb in a predicament. Woodall was the 3rd (and last) catcher available. When Indians Manager Speaker refused to let any of them return to the game, out came 41-year-old Fred Carisch to catch the bottom of the 10th. Carisch, one of Cobb's coaches, hadn't played in the majors since 1914 (ironically, for the Indians)! Speaker objected due to Carisch not being on the "eligible list", and announced his Indians would play the rest of the game under protest. After the first batter, Lutzke, was retired on a groundout, Brower and O'Neill drew walks, setting the stage for Glen Myatt's game-winning, pinch-hit, 3-run shot over the rcf wall.

7-24-1923 (G2) CLE @ SLA – Jim Joe Edwards (Indians) and Ray Kolp (Browns) pitched 13-inning complete games against one another. Charlie Jamieson's lead-off HR in the top of the 13th off Kolp was the difference in a 3-2 Cleveland win. Kolp faced 52 batters, at one point retiring 19 straight. He could have helped his own cause in the 11th, but struck out with the bases loaded. Edwards (50 BFP) finished with 10 strikeouts (8 through 1st 9 IP), an unusually high figure in 1923. (He only struck out 68 all YEAR in 179 IP)

7-22-1924 (1) BSN @ CHN – The Cubs lost their catcher, Bob O’Farrell, when his skull was fractured by a foul tip. Stuffy McInnis tipped a pitch in the first inning that struck that struck O’Farrell’s mask, driving the top of it into his forehead. He suffered a fracture over his right eye.

8-25-1925 BOS @ DET – The Tigers hit into one of the funniest double plays on record in the seventh inning as the twin killing was made on a single to cf. Johnny Bassler walked and Lil Stoner sacrificed him to 2b. Fred Haney drew a pass. Topper Rigney socked a long fly to cf which Ira Flagstead reached for but only touched with the tips of his fingers. At this time Bassler and Haney were between 2b and 3b and both set sail for home. Haney, the faster runner, caught Bassler a few feet from the plate and the two came in side-by-side. Al Stokes got the ball an instant before their arrival and touched them both with one motion, the two being called out in rapid succession by Umpire Moriarty. S8/DP.2XH(82);1XH(2)

6-14-1933 NYA @ BOS – In the second, Lou Gehrig fouled out. He tripled off the top of the rcf fence in the fourth and was stranded by his mates. He fouled out again the sixth and walked and scored in the next frame. In the bottom of the inning, the Yankees got into a violent argument with umpire Bill Summers, which resulted in the ejection of the Iron Horse as well as his skipper, Joe McCarthy. The argument resulted when the New Yorkers claimed that Rick Ferrell ran out of the baseline between 1b and 2b trying to interfere with Tony Lazzeri’s throw to Gehrig. This was the fifth of six occasions that Lou was asked to leave a contest early by the arbiters.

6-19-1933 SLN @ BRO – We have seen many "zip code" plays (which have fielding credits that look like a zip code) but this one is a palindrome. In the top of the fourth, pitcher Bill Walker and third-sacker Pepper Martin attempted a double steal. Walker proved that he was a pitcher and not a runner on the play as he was out at home. CSH(24342).1-2 More weirdness happened in the bottom of the ninth with the score tied at 5. Jesse Haines went in to pitch for the Redbirds and the first batter he faced, Jimmy Jordan, doubled to left. That brought up pitcher Joe Shaute, who was walked intentionally. In the fine tradition of Bill Walker, Shaute was picked off by catcher Jimmy Wilson. Then the Cards intentionally passed Danny Taylor but Johnny Frederick ruined that strategy by driving Jordan in with a single.

6-20-1933 SLN @ BRO – In a continuation from the game of the previous day (see above), there were more pitcher base running antics. In the top of the ninth with the score 15-4 in favor of St. Louis, Syl Johnson was on 1b with Pepper Martin at bat. Martin hit a short fly to cf which was captured by Danny Taylor. Taylor then retired Johnson for an unassisted double play by an outfielder. 8(B)8(1)/FDP/F8S

6-21-1933 SLN @ BRO – This contest featured four separate ejections. Dodger third-sacker Joe Stripp was called out on strikes during a five run rally in the first and was not happy. Umpire Barr asked him to leave. In the top of the second Cardinal shortstop Leo Durocher suffered the same fate for the same reason after throwing his bat in the air. In the bottom of the seventh, Johnny Frederick tripled to rf but overslid 3b. After he was tagged out he protested the call and umpire Quigley told him to cool off in the shower. In the bottom of the eighth, Casey Stengel was ejected by Barr for making remarks after pinch hitter Joe Judge was called out on strikes. There were twelve strikeouts in the game with five of them called.

6-29-1933 SLN @ NY1 – In the top of the second Redbird outfielder Ethan Allen hit an inside the park swat to deep lcf at the Polo Grounds. However, he batted out of turn and was called out. The drive came off Watty Clark with no one one and one out. Joe Medwick was the correct batter. Allen then batted for himself and grounded out.

7-17-1933 (G1) BRO @ PIT – In the top of the first, Buzz Boyle was on 3b with Joe Stripp on 1b. On an attempted steal, Boyle scored when catcher Earl Grace dropped Arky Vaughan’s return throw. However, when Stripp attempted to go to 3b on the error he was out. CSH(26E2)(UR).1X3(25)

7-18-1933 BRO @ PIT – With the score tied at 8 in the top of the eighth inning, Chink Owen batted for ss Glenn Wright and fouled out. Then pitcher Rosy Ryan singled to lf and Jake Flowers is sent in to run for Ryan. That is a situation that doesn’t happen anymore.

7-19-1933 (G1) NY1 @ PIT – The umpires conferred to get a call correct and angered the fans at Forbes Field. It happened with runners on 1b and 3b and two men out in the top of the fourth inning. Freddie Fitzsimmons hit to cf Freddy Lindstrom who scooped the ball off the ground and held it up for umpire Barr to see. Barr declared it a fair catch causing Giants’ manager Bill Terry to rush out and protest. Umpire-in-chief Moran held a conference and reversed the call, allowing Gus Mancuso to score. The fans began yelling at Moran and hurled bottles at him without success.

7-20-1933 NY1 @ PIT – The Giants had runners on 2b and 3b with one out when Jo-jo Moore hit a liner to rf Paul Waner. Waner threw home preventing a run but pitcher Roy Parmelee got too far off 2b and was doubled on a relay from catcher Earl Grace. 9(B)26(2)/LDP

7-22-1933 NY1 @ PIT – Pop bottles again rained onto Forbes Field as the fans objected to another call by umpire Moran. They had performed the same act in the opening game of the series (7-19 above). Moran called Tony Piet out at 1b on a close play, which caused the glass shower to occur.

7-22-1933 BRO @ CIN – Reds pitcher Bob (not Dave) Smith played smart in the top of the fifth. Catcher Al Lopez was on 1b with one out when pitcher Van Mungo hit a little fly towards the mound. Smith allowed the ball to drop and threw to 1b where Jim Bottomley tagged Lopez and stepped on the bag for a double play. 13(1)3/GDP

7-24-1933 (G1) WS1 @ PHA – The Senators had runners on 2b (Dave Harris) and 3b (Fred Schulte) with one out in the fifth inning. Joe Kuhel bounced to Eric McNair at 2b and McNair threw home, trapping Schulte. Catcher Mickey Cochrane ran Schulte back to 3b and tagged both Harris and Schulte. Umpire Geisel callde both runners out which caused manager Joe Cronin to storm out protesting. As usual, the umpire’s call stood and the inning was over.

7-25-1933 (G1) CHN @ PIT – Billy Herman, playing 2b for the Cubs, made three putouts at 1b. In the third, Billy took a throw on a sacrifice bunt by Steve Swetonic. One inning later, Pie Traynor attempted to sacrifice but hit into a double play [16(1)4/GDP/BG]. In the fifth, Herman again took a throw on another successful Swetonic sacrifice. Billy also had three assists and two other putouts in the game before he left for a pinch hitter in the eighth.

7-26-1933 (G2) NYA @ BOS – Lou Gehrig was ejected by Bill Summers for riding him. It started in the third inning and Lou was asked to leave in the middle of the fourth. This was the second time in six weeks that the Iron Horse left the game early due to an umpire’s "request." The previous occasion was on 6-14 also in Boston by Summers (see above.)

4-27-1944 BRO @ BSN – A no-hitter by the Braves' Jim Tobin capped off a month in which he gave up just four hits and one run in 27 innings, spanning three complete game victories.

6-13-1944 SLA @ CHA – Playing in his final major league game, the Browns' Frank Demaree went 0-for-3 against Chicago's Eddie Lopat. The final out dropped Demaree's 12-year career average from .29954 to .29947, thus preventing from having a .300 career average.

7-19-1946 CHA @ BOS – Joe Haynes threw an inside fast ball to Ted Williams in the third inning which forced The Kid to hit the dirt. Umpire Red Jones cautioned Haynes which brought a chorus of yammering from the White Sox dugout. Jones ejected four players from the bench: Ralph Hodgin, Dario Lodigiani, Ed Smith and Bing Miller. To leave the field, the players had to cross over past home plate. Miller offered his glasses to Jones on the way by. Williams brushed himself off and hit a line-drive single. When the heckling persisted in the next inning, ten more players were ejected leaving only the manager, one coach and the trainer in addition to the players in the game on the bench.

9-18-1946 CHN @ NY1 – Umpire George Barr suffered a heart attack during the Cubs-Giants game. More fortunate than John McSherry, Barr would return to ump for three more seasons.

9-15-1950 SLN @ BRO – The Cards' George Munger got credit for a complete game but not a game started. Scheduled starter Cloyd Boyer, who injured his arm while warming up, was awarded the GS.

5-28-1954 BRO @ NY1 – There is always a freak play in Dodger-Giant games. How about a pitching balk caused by the catcher? It happened when plate umpire Art Gore signaled a balk in the sixth inning with Peewee Reese at bat, and signaled Rube Walker to come home from 3b. Pitcher Marv Grissom wasn’t at fault. As Gore explained to Leo Durocher, catcher Ray Katt had called for time after Grissom started his windup. "You can’t do that," said Gore.

5-23-1965 NYN @ SLN – The Mets' Ron Swoboda took the field with a batting helmet stuck on his foot. Swoboda had kicked the helmet in disgust and, when he wasn't immediately able to extricate it, Casey Stengel ordered him to take the field as he was.

7-20-1968 HOU @ SFN – At age 37, Willie Mays scored from first on a single by Jim Ray Hart for the game's only run.

8-16-1970 MIN @ BOS – In the top of the first, Tony Oliva was on 2b and Brant Alyea was batting. The third strike got by Tom Satriano, who threw to 3b trying to get Oliva. The ball was thrown around before Alyea was put out at 1b for a very strange K+PB.2-3;BX1(2513)

8-25-1970 BOS @ MIN – In the bottom of the fourth with Rich Reese at bat the game was delayed 43 minutes for a bomb delay. Evidently the bomber was protesting the coming end of the game. In the ninth the Sox had a 1-0 lead. With Tony Oliva was on 2b and Rich Reese on 1b, pinch hitter Jim Holt hit a grounder to the BoSox 2bman Mike Andrews. Andrews tossed to ss Rico Petrocelli for a force on Reese. However, Oliva tried to score and was run down to end the game. 46(1)/FO/DP.2XH(6525)

5-16-1972 CIN @ SFN – As the Giants tried to walk him intentionally, Pete Rose swung at a pitch and reached on an error, bringing in the Reds' winning run.

7-29-1974 CHA @ OAK – With the White Sox ahead 2-0 in the third, the Athletics commit four errors in the inning but the Pale Hose only score two runs. Carlos May singled to lf and Angel Mangual booted the ball, allowing May to reach 2b. Vida Blue fanned Jorge Orta and Dick Allen reached on an error by Sal Bando, May going to 3b. Bill Melton hit a sacrifice fly to rf which Reggie Jackson booted. Ken Henderson reached on an error by ss Ted Kubiak, which loaded the bases. A walk to Brian Downing forced in the second run of the inning and that was it for Blue. Blue Moon Odom got Ron Santo to fly to cf and Ed Herrmann fanned to end the inning.

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Hidden Ball Tricks

Once again RetroVolunteers have discovered new hidden ball tricks to add to the collection. Bill Deane’s list was published here a year ago and we keep finding new ones. Ted Turocy located the first one. On 6-30-1911, the Pirates were in St. Louis. In the ninth inning, Miller Huggins tricked Max Carey. Carey’s gaff was costly as the Redbirds won the game 5-3 when the Bucs left the bases loaded.

David Vincent discovered the other while doing home run research (yes, there is actually other baseball research going on outside of Retrosheet.) On 5-1-1915, Miller Huggins [strange that they are both Hug] caught the Reds’ Tommy Leach at 2b. Manager Buck Herzog objected to umpire Cy Rigler’s call and was ordered off the field. A few minutes later he returned and, according to Rigler, insulted the umpire. Rigler tore off his mask and hit Herzog on the face with it. The two struggled until players and 12 policemen separated them. Herzog suffered a bleeding nose and discolored eye. Rigler was unmarked. Later they each caused the other’s arrest on charges of disturbing the peace.

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Ted Turocy Strikes Again

Ted Turocy has updated two vital pieces of information on players. On 7-1-1911, Honus Wagner played both lf and 2b in a game at St. Louis. On 9-29, he started the game in cf. Most standard references list Wagner as playing one game in the outfield and none at 2b in 1911.

Mickey Keliher is listed as making his debut on 9-9-1911. However, he did not play in that game but rather debuted the next day. Congratulations to Ted for the sharp eyes. The information has already been passed on to the SABR Biographical Committee.

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Gehrig’s Streak Threatened by All-Star Contest

New York, 6-1-1933 - The outlook is that no fewer than four Yankees will be chosen to play on the American League all-star team against a similar side from the National League in Chicago on July 6. The Yankees who seem certain to be called are Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Bill Dickey and Lefty Gomez. As the New Yorks play the Senators here on July 5, are idle July 6 and are scheduled to entertain the Tigers on the 7th, definite difficulties interpose themselves. For one thing, there is a possibility of Gehrig’s snapping his streak of consecutive games, which he has run to 1,235. He is after Deacon Scott’s mark of 1,307.

It is suggested that the game scheduled with Detroit for Friday, July 7 be combined with that of July 8 to make a double header. There is already one such program with the Tigers for Sunday, July 9. But two successive bargain days with the Bengals would not entail any hardship on the Yankees and would be even better business than single contests on Friday and Saturday.

With Friday, July 7 made an off day, the Yankees would not miss the services of the four men who seem certain to go to Chicago. And Gehrig’s consecutive games skein would not be broken. New York fans are eager to see the Yankees - and the Giants and Dodgers, too - take part in the Chicago game. But they do not want to see Gehrig’s dash after Scott’s record spoiled when a little shift in dates could save it. The chances are that Colonel Ruppert, Joe McCarthy and Ed Barrow will clear July 7 for Lou.

When asked today if he would go to Chicago at the expense of his non-stop record, Gehrig replied, "Certainly! If Colonel Ruppert and Joe McCarthy want me to play in the Century of Progress game I will go gladly and give up my chance at Scott’s mark.

"It is not at all certain that the fans will pick me. They may like some other first baseman better. But if I am nominated I will prize the honor highly, and if the Colonel and Joe say ‘Go’ you will find me on that train for Chicago. Don’t misunderstand my attitude toward that consecutive game record. I want to make it."

According to the schedule as it stands, Gehrig would pass Scott’s record in St. Louis on Thursday, August 17.

[editor’s note - Gehrig started for the AL stars and played the entire game. On July 7th, he started for the Yanks as the Tigers beat the champs 9-4.]

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Costs Scott $40 to Play in His 971st Straight Game

Chicago, 9-13-1922 - It cost Everett Scott exactly $40 to keep his record for consecutive games clean today. While the Deacon was speeding from Auburn, IN to Chicago early this morning, the engine of his train blew out a cylinder head near South Bend, leaving Scott stranded far from his little pals. There was much excitement in the Yankee camp, and much dismay for Scott, who had played in 970 straight games and did not propose to let a little thing like a train wreck smirch his record. So the Deacon hopped on an interurban car from South Bend to Gary, IN and then a taxi from Gary to Chicago. That’s where the $40 comes in. He got to Comiskey Park just in the nick of time. He arrived in the seventh inning of the first game and played long enough to make it count as number 971.

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The Boston Massacre
by Wayne Townsend

In the morning game of a double-header on 7-7-1923, Cleveland hosted Boston in a wild one. Sox Manager Frank Chance started Ira "Pete" Flagstead at ss. (Pete was their everyday right fielder who led the Majors in outfield assists in 1923). After his muffed catch on a force play at 2b led to 3 unearned runs in the third, Chance moved him back to rf. He promptly atoned for the error at ss by throwing out Steve O'Neill on a force play at 2b in the 4th inning. The game was pretty much out of reach after the 5th (Cleveland led, 11-2), but a single and 2 walks loaded the bases, and with 2-outs, the Indians were knocking at the door again. When pitcher Lefty O'Doul induced Joe Sewell to hit a flyball in Flagstead's direction, they apparently were going to get out of the jam. As luck would have it, Ira muffed it, opening the floodgates of a THIRTEEN-run inning that sent 17 batters to the plate. All 13 runs were unearned. The line was:

BOS 000 20  0  001 -  3 13 4
CLE 323 12(13) 12x - 27 24 2
Cleveland set a record with 27 runs in the game, scoring in all eight innings that they batted and came one run short of tying the record for most runs in one inning. Surprisingly, no home runs were hit by either club. The Indians attempted 4 stolen bases with at least a 20-run lead, and the game somehow was finished in just 2 hours and 10 minutes. Cleveland sent a total of 61 batters to the plate in 8 innings.

Manager Chance forced O'Doul to pitch the entire 6th inning, then made him lead off the 7th (he walked) and run the bases before changing pitchers. Lefty's pitching line was not a pretty one: 3.0 IP, 11 H, 16 R, 3 ER, 8 BB, 0 K

(For the record, Flagstead played 3 innings at ss, previously undocumented in all baseball record books. With an error and 2 assists at ss, his official Major League-leading 33 OF assists may need to be reduced to 31.)

But wait, there's more! They still had game 2 to play. Cleveland scored in their 9th consecutive inning that day by tallying 3 runs in the 1st inning of the afternoon game, and almost made it 10, but a flyball to Flagstead (caught, this time) left two runners on in the 2nd inning to end the streak. The Tribe won 8-5, outscoring their opponents on the day, 35-8. The next day, Cleveland spotted the Sox a 5-0 lead through the first four innings before erupting for 15 runs in the last four, winning 15-10. They would outscore Boston in the 5-game series by a combined score of 56-25.

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No Jackrabbit, Eh?

The following paragraph would not raise too many eyebrows lately.

"The sluggers have begun this season at so prodigious a rate that they’ll break all distance-clouting records. However, the baseball fathers solemnly swear that there has been no tampering with the ball, and the manufacturers avow that they’ve added no jackrabbit to it. Maybe it is that the athletes are eating the proper breakfast cereals and don’t even know their own strength."

However, it was written by Arthur Daley in The New York Times of 4-19-1955. He writes further:

"Statistics can be deadly but occasionally they can lend spice to an argument. There were 43 games played in the first week of the current baseball season. In 34 of them at least one homer was hit for an overall total 106. By coincidence the first week of the season a year ago also offered 43 games and they produced 91 homers. If this rate of distance hitting is continued until closing day - well, the figures will be rather fancy.

"The most outstanding of all the cannonaders, perhaps, has been Don Newcombe, the oversized Dodger pitcher. In spite of his brawn, Newk had a lifetime homer total of exactly one when he faced the Giants last Thursday (4-14). So he hit two. The first was a line drive into the lower stands and the second was a quite handsome explosion off the upper deck.

"What’s the reason for it? No one knows. It can’t be the ball clubs are using up the leftover baseballs from last season because that’s something they always do. And the 1954 balls didn’t seem extraordinarily souped up.

"’We can’t explain it,’ said Harry Amtmann, spokesman for Spaldings. ‘We follow every specification with the utmost care and never vary anything.’

"Maybe there’s a jackrabbit in the atmosphere and it adds a scurrying quality to the ball once it leaves the bat. It sure can fly faster and farther. The statistics prove it."

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Problem

David Horwich has a problem. In the 8-6-1973 CLE @ CHA game, the Cleveland sheet shows Duffy with a double in the 4th and a walk in the 6th. Chicago has the walk in the 4th & the double in the 6th. There is, unfortunately, no other information on the scoresheets that could help determine which one is correct; the same pitcher is in for Chicago, there are no baserunners or baserunning plays that might give us a clue, and Duffy's totals are the same. In the absence of any other information, David decided to go with the home scorer.

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Letters to the Editor

In the last issue of TRS, we discussed the sacrifice fly rule and how it has changed. This article has generated some response from readers. We omitted any discussion of the rule before 1901 in that article since we do not worry about that era yet with the Retrosheet software. However, since there were several questions about our history, we now present the complete list.

The first letter was from Mr. Hidden Ball Trick, Bill Deane, who sent the following history:

1889-93:      Sacrifice hits, including sac flies, introduced to scoring summary
1894-1907:    SF removed from SH definition; SH becomes part of batters' records
1908-25:      SF are lumped together with SH; subtle rule change in 1909
1926-30:      SF (still lumped w/SH) awarded for any runner advanced, not just from 3b
1931-38:      SF no longer credited
1939:         SF credited & lumped with SH
1940-53:      SF no longer credited
1954-present: SF credited & distinguished from SH; subtle rule changes in 1958 & '75

The second correspondent was Chuck Voas, who wrote:
"I was interested in your account of the evolution of the Sac Fly rule from the last newsletter. I believe you got it correct, though I think you have glossed over the early history. We have seen lots of games from 1906 and 1907 with no SF awarded, and it appears that 1908 was the first year in which the concept existed. This squares with the Total Baseball article on the evolution of the scoring rules. The same source indicates that 1889 was the first year in which sacrifices of any kind were recognized, and until 1894 the batter was charged with an at bat. Interestingly, from 1889 till 1894 a sac was awarded for any runner advance on outs or reach on error plays, but only if there was exactly one out. This weird rule was changed in 1894 to coincide with the 1931-1953 (less 1939) concept."

Also from Chuck:
"I have recently become interested in the scoring of RBIs. I know that these were official stats from 1920 on, but there is not much mention in contemporary boxes, and it seems to have taken several years before the scoring rule was standardized. For example, in 1924 the Sporting News published RBI totals during the World Series, and they awarded RBI on GDP plays but not on walks with the bases loaded. (Seems to me a fairly reasonable plan) The 1931 season seems to be the first year that RBIs (in more or less their modern form) were defined in the scoring rules, but it appears that RBIs were granted on GDPs up until the 1939 season. No doubt this is partially responsible for the gigantic RBI totals that were run up in the late 20s and 30s. These totals have never since been approached, despite large increases in HRs and no real falloff in total runs scored (earlier years such as 1930 excepted). This is one of the really strange statistical anomalies of baseball history. Of course it's possible that the big HR hitters were more unusual in a lineup, so there tended to be more runners on base when they batted."

Thanks to all of you who read this publication carefully and keep score on our performance. Any comments on articles or the above letters should be sent to the editor at the address on the last page.

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Designated Announcer???

Oakland, 7-18-1973 - You might call Mike Hegan the Athletics’ "designated broadcaster" after his performance today. Hegan, a pinch hitter and defensive specialist at 1b, was instructed by manager Dick Williams to report to the radio booth and fill in three innings for ailing announcer Jim Woods. After his three-inning stint at the mike, Hegan returned to the A’s clubhouse, put on his uniform and went to the dugout. Hegan, as off-season sportscaster in Milwaukee, will be paid union scale wages for his stint, said Monte Moore, Oakland play-by-play announcer and Retrosheet contributor.

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Uniform Rules Change
by Mike Grahek

Chicago Tribune, 4-24-1912: "The Sox abandoned the taxicabs today and began using the new American League rule to dress at the ball parks. They had their ball suits hauled out to the grounds, and rode out themselves on the trolley cars. The rule does not go into operation until June 1, but Cleveland has a clubhouse erected for visiting players, so the Sox took advantage of it."

I don't know if they were the first to do it, but they had to be one of the first.

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War Takes Toll

Just like the rest of the US, Major League Baseball suffered as a result of World War I. In 1918, spring training was cut short and, shortly after the season started, managers were all happy for a day off due to inclement weather. None of the pitchers seemed to be ready when the season started. John McGraw of the Giants said that the 30 days the NL allowed for training was too short and that six weeks were needed for the pitchers to get into the right physical condition to stand the pitching burden of the early season games. The short 1918 spring season created an epidemic of lame arms throughout baseball.

During the season, teams struggled with a government "work or fight" order, which mandated that men who were of draft age must work at an "essential job" or enter military service. This rule affected 237 ball players in the major leagues. Players left teams throughout the season and at one point the Giants only had 11 non-pitchers to play a game (they won).

In late July, Secretary of War Baker decided to allow baseball until September 1 to adjust itself to the ruling. After that all players would have to find other employment. The owners had appealed to Baker to extend the deadline until October 15, but they were granted only the September extension. The season ended on September 2, Labor Day, and the World Series was played after that.

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Baserunning 101
by Wayne Townsend

Who was one of the fastest players in baseball in the 1920s? (Hint: it wasn't Steve O'Neill!) For fun (and at O'Neill's expense), here's a peek at the Cleveland catcher's adventurous on-base exploits during the months of June and July, 1923:

6-19: picked off 2b, but safe on an error [POCS3(15E6)]. He was then forced out at home [32(3)/FO].6-20: as the runner on 1b, he was out when hit by a batted ball [S/BR.1X2(4)]
7-7: two events (1) forced at 2b on a "base hit" to RF [96(1)/FO]. Ira Flagstead threw him out, costing Stan Coveleski the hit. (O'Neill had just entered the game as a PH and singled, so perhaps he wasn't "warmed up", yet); (2) picked off 2b [POCS3(15)] with a 24-2 lead (by Carl Stimson)
7-12: two events (1) led off 2nd inning with a double, then got picked off 2b by catcher Cy Perkins [PO2(26)]; (2) led off 8th inning with a double, then was nabbed going to 3b on a grounder back to the box [FC1.2X3(15)]
7-13: was doubled off 1b on a flyball to LF [7(B)3(1)/DP]. (It was Tilly Walker's only assist of the year, and the last of his career.)
7-15: was doubled off 2b on a liner to SS [6(B)4(2)/LDP]7-17: thrown out at home [S9.2XH(92)] by Elmer Smith. The Indians were leading 8-0 at the time.
7-23: picked off again (1b this time, by Urban Shocker) [POCS2(136)]

In addition to the above events, he grounded into 7 DPs, was forced out on the basepaths 16 times, lifted for a PR 4 times, and was even ejected once - all during these two months. To be fair, O'Neill always batted 8th in the lineup, and thus was often victimized by his pitcher batting after him (although not when George Uhle was on the mound - .361 BA, .472 SLG). O'Neill was getting on base, and he did score/drive-in some runs during this period, too. But after checking out his "prowess" on the basepaths, you wonder if opposing pitchers LET him get on! It's hard to imagine a more bizarre bunch of baserunning blunders by one Major League player during any 5-week span. I can't wait to see how he did in August/September!

Before Retrosheet, stats for SB/CS and runs scored were the only means with which to measure a player's aggressiveness and effectiveness on the basepaths. Thanks to Retrosheet, we can keep track of things like outs-on-base, enhancing traditional stats, furthering our enrichment and appreciation of the grand game, and the men who played it.

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