This day in baseball: Spitball suspensionPosted: July 20, 2016
On July 20, 1944, Nels Potter of the St. Louis Browns was handed a ten-game suspension, making him the first pitcher ever to be suspended for throwing a spitball. In a speech before the Society for American Baseball Research several years later, Potter stated, “The truth is I have never thrown a spitball in my life. It was a cool, dry night and we were playing the Yankees. I was using the rosin bag, Cal Hubbard said I couldn’t go to my mouth with my hands that night. I then blew on my hand. Cal said, ‘You can’t do that.’ I threw the ball in and said there was no rule that says you can’t do that. He kicked me out of the game and I got suspended for 10 days.” Potter returned to the Browns’ lineup on August 6 to win the second game of a doubleheader against the Indians, 6-4.