This infographic is not entirely baseball-specific, but still very relevant. I knew that betting on sports has been around awhile, but it still has existed far longer than I ever imagined. The development of television, internet, and other forms of media obviously revolutionized betting. There is no longer a need to actually be present at a sporting event — we can place our bets from afar.
The Washington Senators stole 13 bases against New York Highlanders catcher Branch Rickey on June 28, 1907 at Yankee Stadium. The Senators would also manage 20 hits against New York pitching, en route to a 16-5 victory.
The 1952 World Series featured a matchup between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees. Brooklyn’s right-handed pitcher Billy Loes had concluded the season with a 13-8 record that included four shutouts and a 2.69 ERA. Prior to the start of the World Series, Loes was asked in an interview how the Dodgers would fare.
After the interview, Dodgers’ manager Charlie Dressen cornered Loes, demanding to know why he predicted that the Yankees would win the Series in seven games. Loes protested, “I was misquoted.” He then clarified, “I picked them in six games.”
Loes’s mishaps continued into the Series itself. During the seventh inning of Game 6, Loes became the first pitcher in World Series history to commit a balk when the ball slipped from his hand while going into his windup. He later explained, “Too much spit on it.” Then, with two outs in the inning, Yankees pitcher Vic Raschi hit a grounder that bounced off Loes’s leg and into the outfield for a single, allowing a run to score. Afterward, Loes said he lost the ground ball in the sun. The Yankees won that game, 3-2.
The pre-Series quote printed by the papers ended up being more accurate than Loes’s actual prediction, as the Yankees won the Series in seven games.
Jumbo Davis of the Kansas City Cowboys committed five errors in a game against St. Louis on June 25, 1888. Over the course of the sesason, Davis committed 100 errors in 628 chances at shortstop and third base, giving him a .841 fielding percentage for the year (his lifetime fielding percentage would be .825). Kansas City lost the game to St. Louis, 10-3.
On June 20, 1921, Babe Ruth hit his 127th career home run, moving him past Sam Thompson into second place all time for career homers and 11 homers behind all-time leader Roger Connor. His blast helped the Yankees on their way to a 7-6 win over the Red Sox in ten innings.
This piece by Paul Blackburn provides an abridged look at Game 7 of the 1960 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Living in New York, he describes the experience of Yankees fans, and there is something almost mystical about the City That Never Sleeps quieting down for a baseball game. I imagine that silence must have continued for a few days after that blast by Bill Mazeroski, the only winner-take-all walk-off home run in World Series history.