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redsmetz
06-03-2011, 08:49 AM
Here's an old story from the April, 1954 issue of Baseball Digest, written by Shirley Povich, long time sports writer for the Washington Post (his final piece was published posthumously at age 92 in 1997). This story recounts a game in 1887 in which future HOF'er hit the ball over the fence, but refused to advance beyond third base. The reasoning, which backfired, is given in the story. It was the Nationals first shutout.

I came across this story when I came across this issue searching for info on my sister-in-law's uncle, Tommy Umphlett, who played for the Red Sox and the Senators for a few years in the 50's, then played out the remainder of his career as a minor league player and a short stint managing in the minors. The region where they come from is home to a considerable number of major league players, including HOF pitchers Jim "Catfish" Hunter & Gaylord Perry (along with his brother, Jim). My sister-in-law's dad used to drive Hunter to his Little League games, and he always says, "we just call him "Ji-im" in his southern drawl). The day I found this story & posted it on Jill's FB wall, she called her Mom to read it to her and her mother said she'd just gone across the road to the farm owned by the grandson of the scout who signed her brother for a bushel of kale. Now that's really ironic.

Anyone enjoy this story and any of the others you see there since you can see the entire issue.

Can you imagine the meltdown here on RZ if a player eschewed a home run?


http://books.google.com/books?id=HjMDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA13&lpg=PA13&dq=strategy:+he+refuses+home+run&source=bl&ots=2zSscK5Iz3&sig=9B3vpXk7wL6oCwbjUF4hPsOca2g&hl=en&ei=-dXoTcaNKc-ctwe6gKm1AQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=strategy%3A%20he%20refuses%20home%20run&f=false

reds1869
06-03-2011, 10:02 AM
I love stories like this. The history of baseball never fails to deliver new gems if we keep digging.

redsmetz
06-03-2011, 10:54 AM
One of the things I need to remind myself about someone recounting a story like this is that from their vantage point (1954), this was something that happened 67 years before. For us, it's like hearing about a game back in 1944, while still a long time ago, it doesn't seem quite as ancient as 1887.

I'm not sure if baseball would allow a runner to do that now and obviously, the catching situation is not applicable at all today.

traderumor
06-03-2011, 11:39 AM
Chris Welsh, if you lurk here, here is the proof, dating back to 1887, that the "rally-killing homer" in practice doesn't work any better than your theory does today :p

gonelong
06-03-2011, 01:11 PM
It's too bad they had to suffer the mortification of being shut-out. Ha!

GL

camisadelgolf
06-03-2011, 02:20 PM
I may have the details a little off on this, but at one time, it was normal for a keg of beer to be kept at third base, and you would see a lot of guys refuse home runs (as well as try to stretch out doubles) just to stay at third base and drink.

redsmetz
06-03-2011, 02:32 PM
I may have the details a little off on this, but at one time, it was normal for a keg of beer to be kept at third base, and you would see a lot of guys refuse home runs (as well as try to stretch out doubles) just to stay at third base and drink.

What concerns me is that might be a living memory for you... :D

camisadelgolf
06-03-2011, 02:33 PM
What concerns me is that might be a living memory for you... :D
Don't you have to remember it for it to be a memory? ;)

westofyou
06-03-2011, 02:36 PM
I may have the details a little off on this, but at one time, it was normal for a keg of beer to be kept at third base, and you would see a lot of guys refuse home runs (as well as try to stretch out doubles) just to stay at third base and drink.

That never happened, but drinking in the dugout yes.

Also back in that day a shutout was often considered bad luck (early on it was called being Chicagoed due to the White Stockings being shut out a few times in the era that shutouts were rare) Often a pitcher would allow a run when the lead was comfy to eschew that bad luck

MikeThierry
06-03-2011, 02:46 PM
This is an amazing story. There is no sport in North America that has so many quirky things in its history than that of baseball. I'm sure there has never been an Eddie Gaedel character in the NFL, unless you count Doug Flutie of course :D

westofyou
06-03-2011, 02:49 PM
This is an amazing story. There is no sport in North America that has so many quirky things in its history than that of baseball. I'm sure there has never been an Eddie Gaedel character in the NFL, unless you count Doug Flutie of course :D
The best part of Gaedels story in today's game is the uniform he wore was current Cardinal owner Bill DeWitt Jr.'s.

MikeThierry
06-03-2011, 02:52 PM
The best part of Gaedels story in today's game is the uniform he wore was current Cardinal owner Bill DeWitt Jr.'s.

Yeah, I read that somewhere. Very funny stuff. Bill Veck may have not known how to put a winning team on the field but he was a damn good promoter.

Speaking of which, I don't think the NHL has ever had a Disco Demolition Day :laugh:

REDREAD
06-03-2011, 03:19 PM
great story redsmetz, thanks for sharing.

redsmetz
06-03-2011, 03:35 PM
great story redsmetz, thanks for sharing.

I noticed that you can check on Google Books for any issues of Baseball Digest, just putting that title in and choose a year and it will bring up all the issues for that year. Of course, I suspect it makes it hard to be productive while doing that.

westofyou
06-03-2011, 03:46 PM
I noticed that you can check on Google Books for any issues of Baseball Digest, just putting that title in and choose a year and it will bring up all the issues for that year. Of course, I suspect it makes it hard to be productive while doing that.

http://books.google.com/books/about/Baseball_Digest.html?id=6i4DAAAAMBAJ

camisadelgolf
06-03-2011, 03:53 PM
That never happened, but drinking in the dugout yes.
Okay, well, you better inform Ken Burns of that. Like I said, I may have the details a little off, but he stated it as if it were fact in his documentary. Either way, please allow for my most sarcastic 'good job' on being rude, though.

westofyou
06-03-2011, 04:02 PM
Okay, well, you better inform Ken Burns of that. Like I said, I may have the details a little off, but he stated it as if it were fact in his documentary. Either way, please allow for my most sarcastic 'good job' on being rude, though.

IIRC that might have been when he mentioned players drinking whilst leaning into the stands during lulls in the game.

One thing for sure is that the NL was formed to limit cheating, franchise folding and control players drinking, which until the early 20th century was probably the biggest blight on the game.

As for the keg at 3rd I've heard about that in softball games, but never a paid game.

camisadelgolf
06-03-2011, 04:40 PM
IIRC that might have been when he mentioned players drinking whilst leaning into the stands during lulls in the game.
Yes, I recall that being mentioned, too. I can't say for 100% sure that the keg at third happened during paid games--and I'm not even saying it was a huge part of the game when it did happen--but to succinctly say that I'm 'wrong' with no explanation or evidence to back it up is rude and ridiculous.

westofyou
06-03-2011, 04:47 PM
Yes, I recall that being mentioned, too. I can't say for 100% sure that the keg at third happened during paid games--and I'm not even saying it was a huge part of the game when it did happen--but to succinctly say that I'm 'wrong' with no explanation or evidence to back it up is rude and ridiculous.

Gee... sorry Wally, but proof and evidence falls on your side of the argument.

Yachtzee
06-03-2011, 05:07 PM
Yeah, I read that somewhere. Very funny stuff. Bill Veck may have not known how to put a winning team on the field but he was a damn good promoter.

Speaking of which, I don't think the NHL has ever had a Disco Demolition Day :laugh:

Well, Veeck did win a World Series with the Cleveland Indians in 1948 (their last), had some success with the White Sox, and might have actually succeeded in running the Cards out of St. Louis had Busch not stepped in to buy the team.

I believe Disco Demolition was his son Mike's call.

Far East
06-03-2011, 05:22 PM
I have posted this before, but have forgotten many of the details about this game I heard on the radio.

I think that it was the 1961 pennant winning year for the Reds.

It's a tie game or the Reds are losing, 8th or ninth inning.

Vada Pinson hits a (2-out, I believe) sure double, but stops in the base path and retreats to first base.

Reds' announcer says that had Pinson not stopped his trot to second base that the opposing team, with first base empty, would then have intentionally walked Frank Robinson.

With Pinson at first, they pitch to Robby, and he gets the game-winning (game-tying?) hit (home run?) and the Reds win the game.

Pinson gave up an extra base hit and whatever it would have added to his SLG to enable Frank to do what he did so much of in that MVP year.

RANDY IN INDY
06-04-2011, 12:23 AM
Here's an old story from the April, 1954 issue of Baseball Digest, written by Shirley Povich, long time sports writer for the Washington Post (his final piece was published posthumously at age 92 in 1997). This story recounts a game in 1887 in which future HOF'er hit the ball over the fence, but refused to advance beyond third base. The reasoning, which backfired, is given in the story. It was the Nationals first shutout.

I came across this story when I came across this issue searching for info on my sister-in-law's uncle, Tommy Umphlett, who played for the Red Sox and the Senators for a few years in the 50's, then played out the remainder of his career as a minor league player and a short stint managing in the minors. The region where they come from is home to a considerable number of major league players, including HOF pitchers Jim "Catfish" Hunter & Gaylord Perry (along with his brother, Jim). My sister-in-law's dad used to drive Hunter to his Little League games, and he always says, "we just call him "Ji-im" in his southern drawl). The day I found this story & posted it on Jill's FB wall, she called her Mom to read it to her and her mother said she'd just gone across the road to the farm owned by the grandson of the scout who signed her brother for a bushel of kale. Now that's really ironic.

Anyone enjoy this story and any of the others you see there since you can see the entire issue.

Can you imagine the meltdown here on RZ if a player eschewed a home run?


http://books.google.com/books?id=HjMDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA13&lpg=PA13&dq=strategy:+he+refuses+home+run&source=bl&ots=2zSscK5Iz3&sig=9B3vpXk7wL6oCwbjUF4hPsOca2g&hl=en&ei=-dXoTcaNKc-ctwe6gKm1AQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=strategy%3A%20he%20refuses%20home%20run&f=false

Redsmetz, I coached travel baseball, last season with Tommy Umphlett's son, Mike Umphlett. Mike is a great guy and a very good and close friend. I met his father, Tom, last year and talked to him on a couple of occasions. He signed a baseball for my boy and is a very nice man, as well. I have both of Tom's baseball cards in my collection. Mike's son, Christian and my son, Matt, teammates last season, will play against each other tomorrow in a 13U tournament here in Charlotte. Small world, isn't it?:beerme:

camisadelgolf
06-04-2011, 05:09 AM
Gee... sorry Wally, but proof and evidence falls on your side of the argument.
:redszone:

Red in Chicago
06-04-2011, 07:22 AM
http://books.google.com/books/about/Baseball_Digest.html?id=6i4DAAAAMBAJ

Thanks for this link. As a kid, this was my first magazine subscription. I laughed when I saw an ad for the magnetic baseball standings board, because that's where I ordered mine from 40 years ago.

redsmetz
06-04-2011, 12:45 PM
Redsmetz, I coached travel baseball, last season with Tommy Umphlett's son, Mike Umphlett. Mike is a great guy and a very good and close friend. I met his father, Tom, last year and talked to him on a couple of occasions. He signed a baseball for my boy and is a very nice man, as well. I have both of Tom's baseball cards in my collection. Mike's son, Christian and my son, Matt, teammates last season, will play against each other tomorrow in a 13U tournament here in Charlotte. Small world, isn't it?:beerme:

Holy Cow, Randy, you just gave me a serious case of goosebumps! I'll have to tell my sister-in-law, who, of course, is Mike's cousin.

RANDY IN INDY
06-04-2011, 09:03 PM
Didn't see Mike today, as he was coaching his younger son's team, but gave his wife, a big hug after the game today. Hadn't seen her for a while. They are a wonderful family and I will miss them when we move. Last week, Mike told me that he would be traveling to Indianapolis for work, at times, and I invited him to stay with us when he is in the Indy area.

redsmetz
06-04-2011, 10:40 PM
Didn't see Mike today, as he was coaching his younger son's team, but gave his wife, a big hug after the game today. Hadn't seen her for a while. They are a wonderful family and I will miss them when we move. Last week, Mike told me that he would be traveling to Indianapolis for work, at times, and I invited him to stay with us when he is in the Indy area.

My sister-in-law doesn't know Mike well, she thinks he's the same age as one of her older brothers and he was grown up and gone when she was growing up. The irony is that both she & my brother are big-time cabooses in their families (17 years difference in our family, I think a bit more in her's). She's from Ahoskie too (where Tommy Umphlett now lives too, I think). She's been really tickled with this article and the discussion.

They got a picture of Tommy from 1961 when he was playing for the Seattle Raniers that I'll have to send to you.

You're moving to Indy? Changing your user ID?

RANDY IN INDY
06-05-2011, 01:17 AM
We're moving to Brownsburg. I'll be changing it when I get there the end of the month.:)