Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)
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By Baseball Newstalgist, Bill Chuck
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The only spin here is on my screwball
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Top of the 1st
IT’S A HAPPENINGS MONTH (Part 2)
For those of you old enough to remember or if you simply have bad taste in classic bubblegum music, you might remember a song by The Happenings entitled “See You in September.” A couple of weeks ago I looked at the first part of September (http://billy-ball.com/news/2008_08_28.asp ) and today we look at Part 2 of some of the wild and wacky September moments:
16, 1972 – At Wrigley Field, the Cubs beats Tom Seaver and the Mets, 18- 5. Can you imagine what the score would have been had Glenn Beckert not set a major-league record by stranding 12 base runners.
17, 1935 – Outfielder Len Koenecke dropped by the Dodgers takes an American Airline to St. Louis but is dropped off in Detroit because of drunkenness. He then hires a private plane to fly him to Buffalo, but during the flight he tries to take over the controls and gets into a fight with the pilot. He dies after the co-pilot hits Koenecke over the head with a fire extinguisher.
18, 1999: The Rangers defeat the Devil Rays, 6-1, but “The Rookie,” Tampa Bay pitcher Jim Morris makes his major league debut striking out Royce Clayton in the 8th inning. The 36-year old Morris was a high school baseball coach and science teacher just four months ago when he tried out at the urging of his team. Dennis Quaid played Morris in the movies.
19, 1963 – At Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Bo Belinsky and the Angels defeat Dave McNally and the Orioles, 7-2 in front of 476 fans.
20, 1960 – Ted Williams, is forced to leave the game after fouling a ball off his ankle and Boston Red Sox outfielder Carroll Hardy pinch-hits for him. On May 31, 1961, Hardy pinch-hits for Carl Yastrzemski, making him the only player to go in for both future Hall of Famers. Hardy also hit his first major league home run pinch-hitting for Roger Maris when both were at Cleveland (May 18, 1958).
21, 1958 – At Fenway Park, the Red Sox complete a three game sweep of the Senators, all by the score of 2-0. In a fit of anger, Ted Williams, throws his bat into the stands hitting Gladys Heffernan in the face. If this weren’t bad enough, Heffernan is Sox GM Joe Cronin’s housekeeper. She is not badly hurt, and Williams is very apologetic but still fined by American League President Will Harridge.
22, 1925 -Burleigh Grimes of the Brooklyn Dodgers was not a pleasant man when he was on the pitcher’s mound. “Ol’ Stubblebeard”, as the last legal spitballer was known as, had an unpleasant day in the batter’s box on this date hitting into two double plays, then into a triple play.
23, 1908 – Poor Fred Merkle. This is the date that the 19-year old picked up the nickname “Bonehead” that lasted a lifetime. With the game tied at one apiece with two outs in the bottom of the 9th and runners on first and third (Merkle is on first), Al Bridwell hits what should be a walk-off single. The runner on third crosses the plate as Merkle heads for the clubhouse in centerfield. The crowd pours onto the field and pitcher Joe McGinnity swears he picked up the ball that was in play and threw it into the stands. But Cubs second sacker Johnny Evers grabs some ball and runs to second base and declares the force out. Whether it was the real ball or not, we do not know. We do know that Merkle forgot to touch the base and later that evening first base ump Hank O’Day rules the run does not count, and the game ended with a tie score
24, 1943 – It was pouring but Cubs managed to get in five innings against the Phillies for an official 7-4 victory. A gathering of 314 fans, the smallest in Wrigley Field history attend the game.
25, 2001 – The Pirates beat the Cubs, 13-1 and catcher Craig Wilson gets a hit in the 1st off Jason Bere, 2nd off Carlos Zambrano, and in the 3rd inning off Courtney Duncan. The night before in the 6th Wilson pinch-hit a homer off Kerry Wood, in the 7th Wilson stayed in the game and had a hit against Todd Van Poppel, and in the 8th facing Scott Chiasson, Wilson singled. After all is said and done, Wilson had hits in six consecutive innings, against six different pitchers, a major league mark.
26, 1942 – To help the war effort, kids who bring scrap metal are admitted free to the doubleheader at the Polo Grounds. By the 8th inning of the second game, they’ve had it and with the Giants leading 5-2 they run onto the field and umpire Ziggy Sears stops the action and forfeits the game 9-0 to the Braves. Boston’s Warren Spahn goes from losing pitcher to a winner and is given credit for a complete game.
27, 1939 – Mark this as a day that will live in baseball infamy. The Chicago White Sox host the first “day-night” doubleheader with fans charged separate admissions for each game. In fitting retribution, the White Sox lose both games to Cleveland.
28, 1975 – It’s a group effort as Vida Blue, Glenn Abbott, Paul Lindblad and Rollie Fingers of the Oakland Athletics combine to no-hit the California Angels, 5-0. This was a major league first.
29, 1971 – If you love someone who “takes one for the team” then you have to love Ron Hunt 50 times over. The Expos second baseman was hit in the 2nd inning by the Cubs Milt Pappas marking the 50th HBP of the season for Hunt.
30, 1962 – My favorite last lick occurred on this date in the final game of the first season of the New York Mets (loss #120). Backup catcher Joe Pignatano is closing out his career and Piggy hadn’t played in eight days, but Casey Stengel inserts him into this final game against the Cubs in the 6th replacing the immortal Choo-Choo Coleman behind the plate. In the Mets’ 8th inning, Sammy Drake in his last major league at bat singles. Then Richie Ashburn, in his major league grand finale, also singles. Up to the plate steps Joe Pignatano who in his last major league at bat…hits into a triple play.
In the words of the Happenings, “Bye-bye, so long, farewell.”
P.S. Here are the Happenings performing this cloying song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7F9Mv1Ww3s&feature=related
Top of the 2nd
THE WRAP for September 10, 2008
IN THE NL…
You have to now consider the Mets’ Carlos Delgado as a pretty strong NL MVP candidate. Delgado had his second straight multi-home run game, the fifth player in Mets history to do so, and the Mets increased their NL East lead by beating the Washington Nationals, 10-8. After going 3-for-3 with three RBIs, Delgado has 68 RBIs in the last 66 games. He has raised his average from .228 on June 30 to .266 and has four multi-homer games in the last 13. Delgado’s 35 homers this season give him 466 for his career, one more than Hall of Famer Dave Winfield for 30th place. He has seven multihomer games this year, matching Dave Kingman’s club record set in 1976. Ryan Church also homered and Jose Reyes snapped an 0-for-15 slump with two hits. Luis Ayala pitched a perfect 9th for his sixth save in seven chances since coming to the Mets last month in a trade with Washington. Carlos Beltran reached 100 RBIs for the third straight season. This month, the Mets’ bullpen has allowed one run in 29 2/3 innings. New York won when giving up eight or more runs for the third time this year, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Mets beat Philadelphia 10-9 on July 7 and Cincinnati 10-8 on July 17. New York has won 19 of 26.