This day in baseball: Out confusion

In a game between the Philadelphia Athletics and the Boston Red Stockings on September 14, 1872, the Athletics led 4-1 in the seventh inning with runners on first and second.  Fergy Malone popped up to shortstop George Wright, who caught the ball in his hat and then proceeded to throw the ball to third base.  The ball was then thrown to second base.  Wright claimed a double play has been completed, as a batter cannot be retired with a “hat catch,” and thus runners Cap Anson and Bob Reach should have been forced out.  This naturally caused some confusion, and ultimately , the umpire decided to give Malone another at bat, declaring nobody out on the play.  The Athletics won this game, 6-4.

George_Wright 1872

George Wright, 1872 (Wikipedia)



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