Baseball Sports Oddities and Trivia Part 2

Some random facts and trivia about the sport baseball.



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.

The Chicago Cubs'Augie Galan set a record in 1935 when he batted 646 times without hitting into a double play. However, he did hit into one triple play.

Some things never change. The official weight and size of a major league baseball (5-5 1/4 oz., 9-9 1/4 in. in circumference) have not been altered since 1872, when the standards were set.

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. (See "People Who Never Were--Yet Live Today," Chap. 16) 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.

Joe Oeschger of the Boston Braves and Leon Cadore of the Brooklyn Dodgers staged the most monumental pitchers' battle on record when they went against each other in Boston on May 1, 1920. The score was tied 1 - 1 at the end of the 6th inning. The pitchers then began retiring batters until the game was forced to go into extra innings. Both pitchers stayed in the game through the 26th inning without relief help. Finally, the umpire called the game on account of darkness. Not only was it the longest game of major league baseball ever played, but the two iron-armed pitchers set the record for consecutive scoreless pitching in a single major league game: Cadore for 20 innings and Oeschger for 21.

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