In a game against St. Louis on 11 September 1902, Boston Beaneaters pitcher John Malarkey hit a home run in the bottom of the eleventh off right-hander Mike O’Neill. As a result of the dinger, Boston won the game 4-3, making Malarkey the first pitcher in Major League history to earn a ‘W’ by hitting his own walk-off homer.
I’ve seen this floating around a couple times before, and figured it would be a fun thing to share. Apparently it was actually created as part of a Gatorade commercial at some point, but it’s still a fun clip to watch.
On 8 September 1916, the smallest crowd in American League history, a whopping twenty-three fans, watched the Yankees take on the A’s at Shibe Park in Philadelphia. During the game, A’s switch-hitter Wally Schang became the first player in Major League history to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game.
Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.
We interrupt our regular programming for this brief post of pure self-indulgence.
A friend and I attended the Mariners-Royals game in Kansas City two nights ago. For the last run of Wednesday home games for the Royals, Kauffman Stadium has set aside a section of seats dubbed “GordoNation,” a fan section devoted to KC’s All-Star left fielder Alex Gordon. In addition to a seat right by Gordon’s defensive stomping grounds, fans in the section receive a GordoNation T-shirt, which, as you can see, is a pretty nifty piece of apparel. Last night, however, I received a bonus souvenir when, after his warm-up tosses prior to the top of one of the earlier innings, Gordon tossed his baseball into the crowd off to my right. The ball bounced from fan to fan, juggled amongst futile attempts to grab it. Before I even had a chance to fully grasp what was going on, I realized that the ball had started rolling slowly away from the crowd and right towards me.
Without hesitating, I scooped it up, and the flurry of excitement of the crowd to my right ended in a groan. My first Major League baseball. I was so pleased that I could feel myself grinning like a goofus as I ran my fingers over the laces of my latest souvenir. Unfortunately, the Royals lost 6-4 that night, as Aaron Crow gave up a two-run home run in the top of the ninth, breaking the 4-4 tie. But at least I didn’t walk away empty-handed!
On 4 September 1908, Tiger second baseman Germany Schaefer became the only player in Major League history to steal the same base twice in one inning. In the process of doing so, he also became one of two players in history to steal first base from second. How — and why — did he accomplish this feat? With another runner on third base, Schaefer took off from first, hoping to draw a throw to second in order to allow the other runner to score. When the catcher did not make the throw, Schaefer decided to go in reverse and steal first, in order to position himself to try the ploy again. Schaefer succeeded once again in stealing second, but whether or not his plan to get the runner home worked remains unclear.
This wasn’t the only time that Schaefer performed this stunt. He apparently stole first from second again in 1911, while with the Washington Senators. This time, opposing Chicago White Sox manager Hugh Duffy came out of the dugout in protest. It is said that it is because of Schaefer that, in 1920, the rules of baseball were changed in order to prevent a runner from stealing bases in reverse order.
Poets are like baseball pitchers. Both have their moments. The intervals are the tough things.