This day in baseball: Raschi balks four times

On May 3, 1950, Vic Raschi of the New York Yankees balked four times in a single game against the Chicago White Sox. Raschi was reportedly bothered by a new rule requiring “a one-second stop before delivery with men on base.” Despite the four balks, not to mention Raschi giving up ten hits and four walks, the Yankees won the game. Raschi somehow kept the White Sox to just three runs, despite all the baserunners. The Yankees scored four runs and won the game 4-3, thanks mostly to three RBIs from Phil Rizzuto.

Raschi’s four balks in one game is part of a seven-way tie for second place. In first place is Bob Shaw, who balked five times in a game in 1963. This one game against the White Sox accounts for four of the eight times Vic Raschi balked in his entire career.

Vic_Raschi_1953 - Wikipedia

Vic Raschi in 1953 (Wikipedia)


Misquoted

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.

 

Billy Loes

Billy Loes, 1953 (Bowman Gum)