This day in baseball: McCatty’s toy bat

On April 2, 1982, during an exhibition contest at Jack Murphy Stadium against the San Diego Padres, Oakland manager Billy Martin ordered pitcher Steve McCatty to go to home plate with a 15-inch toy bat. The move was a protest of the rule preventing the use of the designated hitter in National League ballparks. Umpire Jim Quick refused to let McCatty use the bat, however, so McCatty instead took three called strikes while holding a real bat.

Billy Martin as the manager of the New York Yankees, 1983 (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)

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