Thursday, November 1, 2007

How Odd Is This Game?!

    Baseball is a wonderful game (even more wonderful when your team isn't choking in the ALCS). America's past time is full of odd occurences, freaky injuries, and unusual quotes as well. Let's take a look at some just for fun. What the hell, we only have 149 days to kill until opening day!

  • In 1963, baseball pitcher Gaylord Perry remarked, "They'll put a man on the moon before I hit a home run." On July 20, 1969, a few hours after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, Gaylord Perry hit his first, and only, home run.

  • The only two days of the year in which there are no professional sports games (MLB, NBA, NHL, or NFL) are the day before and the day after the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

  • One day in 1934, Brooklyn Dodger manager Casey Stengel went out to the mound to remove his battered pitcher, Walter "Boom-Boom" Beck. Boom-Boom, in a fit of temper, wheeled and threw the ball at the right-field wall. Dodger right fielder Hack Wilson, whose head was lowered and whose eyes were shut from the effects of an awful hangover, heard the ball hit the wall. He raced over, picked it up, and threw it into second base before discovering that no one had hit it.

  • One of the all-time baseball greats was the major leagues' first American Indian player, Louis Sockalexis, whom author Gilbert Patten used as his real-life model for the fictional sports hero Frank Merriwell. Socklexis joined the Cleveland club as an outfielder in 1897, after leaving the Penobscot Indian Reservation in Maine and playing in small-time leagues. So spectacular were his play and leadership that the team, known as the Cleveland Spiders when Sockalexis first joined it, eventually changed its name to the Indians. Unfortunately, the story has a tragic ending. Sockalexis was introduced to alcohol at a team party and became an alcoholic. He lasted only three seasons in the major leagues and died back on the Penobscot Reservation in 1913 at the age of 42.

  • On May 30, 1922, the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs played a doubleheader. In the first game Max Flack played in the outfield for the Cubs, and Cliff Heathcote was in the Cardinal outfield. Between games they were traded for each other, so in the second game Heathcote played in the Cub outfield while Flack chased fly balls for the Cardinals.

  • On April 26, 1962 the Cleveland Indians traded catcher Harry Chiti to the New York Mets for a player to be named later. A few weeks later, The Mets sent Chiti back to the Indians as the player to be named later.

  • John Smoltz once burned his chest while ironing a shirt ... which he was still wearing.

  • Chicago Cubs’ Eddie Waitkus’s bright career took an infamously tragic turn after he received a cryptic note summoning him to meet a young fan, Ruth Steinhagen. When Waitkus entered her hotel room, she proclaimed, “I have a surprise for you,” and then she just as quickly shot him in the chest. Waitkus survived and Steinhagen went to a state mental hospital for nearly three years.

Casey Stengel said...

  • “I don't like them fellas who drive in two runs and let in three.”

  • “The trouble is not that players have sex the night before a game. It's that they stay out all night looking for it.”

  • “They say some of my stars drink whiskey, but I have found that ones who drink milkshakes don't win many ball games.”

  • “We are in such a slump that even the ones that aren't drinkin' aren't hittin'!”
More freaky occurences...

  • Adam Eaton missed a start in 2001 after stabbing himself with a paring knife while attempting to open a DVD box.

  • Charlie Hough broke his pinky finger while shaking hands.

  • Mickey Tettleton went on the DL with a severe case of athlete's foot - caused by tying his shoes too tight.

  • Jose Cardenal missed a game in 1972 because he was kept awake all night by crickets chirping in his hotel room.

  • Jose Cardenal also missed a game in 1974, because he couldn't blink. He swore his eyes were stuck open.

  • In 1998, Cleveland's Brian Giles missed a few games due to spider bites.

  • Bob Feller scalded himself with 200-degree water after he lost control of the hose in a whirlpool. He scalded himself from the waste down, and couldn't do anything for a week.

  • Russ Davis missed a game after he slept wrong and awoke with a sore shoulder.

  • David Cone missed a start after getting bit by his mother-in-law's dog, a Jack Russell Terrier.

  • Sammy Sosa missed a game after sleeping wrong on his shoulder.

  • Jim Corsi slipped coming out of the shower and sprained his wrist. Corsi has poor eyesight, wasn't wearing contacts, and misjudged his step.

  • Bob Stanley missed a couple of games slipping down the stairs while taking out the trash.

  • Ken Griffey Jr. got a sore back lifting boxes.

  • Carlos Perez broke his nose in a car he was trying to pass the team bus.

  • Brian Anderson suffered nerve damage in his elbow after a cab ride.

  • Tony Gwynn missed a couple of games after he smashed his thumb in the door of his luxury car...while going to the bank.

  • Rickey Henderson missed several games because of frost- August.

  • Vince Coleman missed the 1985 World Series when he got rolled up in the tarp machine.

  • Pascual Perez missed a start in Atlanta when he circled the city for more than two hours searching for the exit ramp from Highway 285 to Fulton County Stadium.

  • Kevin Mitchell strained a muscle while vomiting.

  • Twins farmhand David Foster was knocked out for the season when a lightning strike through a phone line zapped him while he was making a call.

  • Pitcher Steve Foster injured his shoulder knocking over milk bottles during a segment with Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show."

  • Wade Boggs missed several games after straining his back while pulling on his cowboy boots.

  • Paul Molitor dislocated a knuckle when it got stuck in another player's glove.

  • Milwaukee's Dave Nilsson missed part of this season with Ross River Fever, a mosquito-borne virus that annually affects 200 out of Australia's 17 million residents.

  • Twins general manager Terry Ryan required dozens of stitches when he was scouting a game and a bat flew out of the hitter's hands, sailed through a space in the backstop and struck him in the forehead.

  • Pitcher Jeff Juden had a start early in the 1994 season pushed back after getting an infection from a tattoo.

  • Outfielder Bret Barberie missed a game when he accidentally rubbed chili juice in his eye.

  • Ken Griffey Jr. missed a game after his protective cup slipped and pinched a testicle.

  • Doc Gooden missed a start when Vince Coleman accidentally hit him with a golf club in the Mets' clubhouse.

  • Mark Portugal missed a start because of food poisoning from eating bad mahi-mahi.

  • Pitcher Steve Sparks dislocated his shoulder while tearing a phone book in half, as he was trying to emulate a motivational speaker.

  • Reliever Larry Anderson strained a rib muscle getting out of a Jucuzzi.

  • Pitcher Ted Power pulled a hamstring jumping off the bullpen bench to join a brawl.

  • Kent Hrbek missed the final 10 games of the 1990 season when he sprained an ankle while wrestling with a clubhouse attendant.

  • Florida's Randy Veres hurt his hand pounding on a hotel room wall trying to get the people in the next room to quiet down.

  • Dennis Martinez injured his arm tossing his luggage onto the team bus. He was diagnosed with Samsonitis.

  • Chris Brown missed a game with a strained eyelid after sleeping on an eye a funny way.

  • Former Seattle shortstop Rey Quinones was unavailable as a pinch-hitter because he was in the clubhouse playing Nintendo.

  • Terry Harper (Atlanta, OF) injured his shoulder after giving another player a high five.

  • Greg Harris (Texas, pitcher) injured his shoulder trying to flick sunflower seeds into the stands from the bullpen.

  • Baltimore's Mark Smith was hurt when he stuck his hand in an air conditioner to see why it wasn't working properly.

  • Glenallen Hill missed a few games after falling out of his bed while having an arachnophobic dream about spiders. He dreamt that spiders were devouring him, jumped off his bed, fell through a glass table, and crawled through the shards of glass.

How fast can we pass these next 149 days until we hear that familiar and welcome call, "Play Ball!"

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