I Pinch Hit for Ted and Yaz

Three-Team Doubleheader

Games = Hits

500 ABs, Then 0

K and E Leader

Two Steals of Home in One Game

Only All-Star At-Bat

Games Played: 0; Ejections: 1

AL MVP 1-2 1941

One At-Bat, Two Ejections


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Odd Baseball Facts Archive – II
I Pinch Hit for Ted and Yaz

Ted Williams was replaced by a pinch-hitter only once in his Hall of Fame career. The same is true of Carl Yastrzemski. The pinch-hitter was the same player in both cases – Carroll Hardy. He also had another interesting involvement in Williams's career.

  • September 20, 1960: In the last year of his career, Williams fouled a ball off his foot in the first inning of a game at Baltimore and limped off the field. Hardy finished the AB, lining into a DP.
  • September 28, 1960: In his last game, Ted hit his 521st HR off Jack Fisher of the Orioles at Fenway Park. In the ninth inning, Hardy replaced Williams in LF. "They booed me all the way out and cheered him all the way in," Carroll recalled. [Video of Ted's last AB.]
  • May 31, 1961: Hardy pinch-hit for rookie Carl Yastrzemski.
  • Hardy also pinch-hit for Roger Maris when they played for Cleveland. On May 18, 1958, his 25th birthday, Carroll, a right-handed batter, pinch-hit for Maris against lefty Billy Pierce of the White Sox and belted a three-run HR.

Hardy played parts of eight seasons in the majors with the Indians (1958-60), Red Sox (1960-2), Houston Colt 45's (1963-4), and Twins (1967).

Carroll also played football at Colorado and ran track. He was All-Big-Seven Conference TB in the single wing and also all-conference in baseball. He won the MVP award at the 1955 Hula Bowl in Honolulu. Hardy played one year in the NFL, 1955, for the San Francisco 49ers. He caught only 12 passes but four went for TDs, including a 78-yarder.

Although he left the NFL to concentrate on baseball, he returned to football after his retirement from the diamond. He worked 20 years in the Denver Broncos front office. As player personnel director, he received a chunk of the credit for developing the Broncos' 1977 Super Bowl squad.

Final note: The Website offers baseballs autographed by Hardy and inscribed "Pinch Hit for Ted Williams."
Colorado B Carroll Hardy
Carroll Hardy, Colorado

Red Sox OF Carroll Hardy
Carroll Hardy, Red Sox

Braves P Warren Spahn
Warren Spahn
Three-Team Doubleheader

On September 13, 1951, at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis, the Cardinals split the first three-team doubleheader since 1883.

  • The Redbirds beat the Giants 6-4 before 4,160 in a rescheduled afternoon game due to rain the day before. The game was scheduled before Leo Durocher's club left town because the two teams were not scheduled to face each other in the remaining 2 1/2 weeks of the season. New York was in a pennant race with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and every game needed to be played. The loss dropped the Giants six games behind the Bums. (The race would end in a tie, to be settled by Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World" in the third playoff game.)
  • Marty Marion's Cards were blanked by Warren Spahn of the Boston Braves in the regularly scheduled night game, 2-0. The contest took only 1:48 before a crowd only slightly larger than the day game – 4,706.

St. Louis stayed in third place 16 games behind Brooklyn.

Games = Hits

2009 Hall of Fame inductee Joe Gordon has several remarkable statistics.

  • Joe played in exactly 1,000 games for the New York Yankees, his first ML team.
  • In those 1,000 games, Gordon got exactly 1,000 hits.

He played his last four seasons with Cleveland (1947-50). Joe appeared in six World Series, five with the Yanks (1938, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1943) and one with the Indians (1948). His clubs were 5-1 in those Fall Classics, the loss being to the Cardinals in 1942.

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Yankees 2B Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon
Sparky Anderson
Sparky Anderson
500 ABs, Then 0

George "Sparky" Anderson was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2000 as a manager. He led Cincinnati's "Big Red Machine" to the World Series four times, winning two. He also won the World Series with Detroit in 1984.

Sparky played one season in the major leagues with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1959. The 25-year-old 2B came to the plate 527 times in 152 games. He hit .218. He never registered another at-bat in the major leagues after that. No other player has done that – had 500+ plate appearances in his only season in the bigs.

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Indians 1B Vic Power
Two Steals of Home in One Game

In 1958, Vic Power of the Cleveland Indians stole only three bases. However, two of them were steals of home that won a game.

  • On August 14, 3B Power stole home in the 8th inning against the Detroit Tigers. The run capped a five-run inning that put the Indians ahead 10-8 going into the ninth.
  • Detroit scored two in the ninth to send the game into extra innings.
  • In the tenth, Power singled with one out against Frank Lary, Vic's third hit in six ABs. An IF hit by C Russ Nixon sent Vic to second before a FO at second put him on third. After CF Larry Doby was walked intentionally, Power stole home to win the game with RF Rocky Colavito at bat.

How many from the announced crowd of 4,474 were still present in massive Municipal Stadium 3:49 after the first pitch to witness the exciting ending is anybody's guess.

Power had played 52 games for the Kansas City Athletics before being traded to Cleveland on June 15, 1958. One of the players the Indians sent to KC in the deal was 23-year-old OF Roger Maris.

Only All-Star At-Bat

1940 All-Star Game at St. Louis's Sportsman Park.

  • After the AL went scoreless in the top of the first, SS Arky Vaughan of the Pirates and Cubs' 2B Billy Herman led off with singles off Red Ruffing of the Yankees.
  • RF Max West of the Boston Bees hit a three-run HR onto the roof in RCF.
  • In the top of the second, West was hurt playing a double by Luke Appling of the White Sox. Max was replaced by Bill Nicholson of the Cubs.
  • The NL won the game 4-0.
West never again made an All-Star roster. So his Midsummer Classic stat line reads: 1-1, HR, 3 RBI, R. He hit .254 for his career (1938-48).
Browns OF Max West
Max West
Bill Sharman, Dodgers
Bill Sharman, Celtics
Games Played: 0; Ejections: 1

Bill Sharman is known as a member of the basketball Hall of Fame.

  • A product of USC, Bill played for the Boston Celtics from 1951-61. He made the All-Star team eight times and was first team All-NBA four times, teaming with Bob Cousy and then K. C. Jones at G on numerous championship teams.
  • He coached the San Francisco Warriors for two years, the ABA's Utah Stars for three, and then the Los Angeles Lakers for five. His 1971 Laker squad went 69-13 and won the championship.

So why are we talking about Bill Sharman on this baseball page? Because of this odd fact: Although he never appeared in a major league game, he was ejected from one.

  • Sharman toiled in the Brooklyn Dodgers' farm system from 1950-5. He compiled a .281 career average with 52 HRs. Unfortunately for Bill, the Dodgers were loaded with outfielders during that period.
  • In September 1951, Bill was called up to the Dodgers, who were trying to stave off the hard-charging New York Giants for the pennant.
  • In a tense game September 27 against the Braves in Boston, the score was 3-3 when umpire Frank Dascoli called Bob Addis safe at home on a single in the bottom of the eighth. C Roy Campanella, who thought he had the plate blocked, screamed in protest. Campy, manager Chuck Dressen, P Preacher Roe, and coach Cookie Lavagetto were all ejected. To prevent more problems, Dascoli ordered all Dodgers on the bench, including Sharman, to the clubhouse.
  • Boston held on to win 4-3 to reduce the Dodger lead to 1/2 game with only six left. Of course, Brooklyn and New York finished in a tie, necessitating the three-game playoff that ended with Bobby Thomson's famous HR.

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Joe DiMaggio
Joe DiMaggio
AL MVP 1-2 1941

Every baseball fan knows that Joe DiMaggio set the all-time record when he hit safely in 56 straight games in 1941. You also remember that Ted Williams is the last major leaguer to break the .400 barrier, having done so that same season. But you may not know these facts.

  • Joe hit .408 during his 56-game hitting streak in 1941. However, Ted Williams hit .412 during that same period on his way to the majors' last .400 season.
  • Ted finished at .406 and DiMag at .357.
  • Joe led the AL with 125 RBI and 348 TB. Joe smacked 30 HR.
  • Ted led the league in five other categories: 135 R, 37 HR, 147 BB, .553 OBP (a stat not kept at the time), and .735 Slugging %.
  • DiMag (291 points) won the MVP over Ted (254), who finished second. The Red Sox also finished second to the Yankees, 17 games behind.
Ted Williams 1941
Ted Williams
Giants OF Bob Elliott
One At-Bat, Two Ejections

August 23, 1952: Bob Elliott of the New York Giants is ejected for arguing a strike call during an at-bat against the St. Louis Cardinals at Sportsman's Park. Bobby Hoffman completes Elliott's at-bat. Hoffman strikes out and is also ejected for arguing.

Eddie Stanky's Cards defeated Leo Durocher's Giants, 3-1 behind LHP Al Brazle.

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