Golden Baseball Magazine

Odd Baseball Facts

Odd Facts: Babe Lost a HR, Forfeited Game, and One Replayed Twice
Until 1920, major league rules decreed that the home team could not win by more than one run when it won in the bottom of the 9th or an extra inning.
  • If the batter hit a grand slam in the bottom of the 9th of a tie game, he was credited with only a single since that was all that was needed to send the winning run home. In other words, the game ended as soon as the winning run scored.
  • One of the 38 players who lost HRs under this rule was Babe Ruth. On July 8, 1918, he homered for the Red Sox with a teammate on 1st base in the bottom of the 10th of a scoreless game. Since the runner had to traverse three bases to reach the plate, Babe was credited with a triple.
  • In 1968, the Special Baseball Records Committee, formed to settle historical disparities or errors, voted to credit all the players who had hit "walkoff" HRs before 1920 with an additional four-bagger. So Ruth's HR total went from 714 to 715.
  • But a year later, the committee reversed its decision and return the total to 714.

Rule 7.03 states in part: A game may be forfeited to the opposing team when a team ... employs tactics palpably designed to delay or shorten the game.

  • The last time this rule was invoked was July 18, 1954, at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis.
  • The Cardinals trailed the Phillies 8-1 in the second game of a rain-delayed doubleheader with one out in the top of the 5th, and darkness fast approaching. Since the rules did not permit turning on the stadium lights to continue play, Cards manager Eddie Stanky starting delaying to keep the game from going the required five full innings to be official.
  • When he changed pitchers twice in the top of the 5th, the umpires warned Eddie that they would invoke the stalling rule. When he went to his bullpen a third time, crew chief Babe Pinelli picked up the field microphone and announced that the game was forfeited to the Phils.
  • Because the game didn't go the required five innings, the official scorer didn't send in a box score. Philly starter Bob Greenwood was denied an almost certain victory in his first major league start.

A 1932 game between the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers was replayed not once but twice.

  • The story begins in the 2nd inning of the original game when Tony Lazzeri stepped to the plate as the 5th hitter in the Yankee order. Plate umpire Dick Nallin told Tony that he was the 6th batter on the lineup card. NY skipper Joe McCarthy, admitting he made a mistake on his card, asked Nallin to make an exception and allow Lazzeri to hit in his usual 5th spot. The ump agreed.
  • When Tony singled, Detroit manager Bucky Harris appealed to Nallin that Laz had hit out of order. When Nallin explained that Tony had hit fifth with his permission, Harris played the game under protest on the grounds that the umpire had no authority to change the batting order after the game began.
  • After the Yanks won 6-3, AL president Will Harridge upheld the protest and ordered the game replayed in its entirety.
  • The two clubs met again a month later. But the replay ended in a 7-7 tie because of darkness.
  • So the following day, the second replay took place. Detroit won 4-1.
  • Postscript: At the end of the season, Harridge terminated Nallin after he completed his 18th year as an AL umpire.

Babe Ruth

Eddie Stanky

Tony Lazzeri



Odd Baseball Facts - I
Fours Are Wild | Non-K King | Four Inside-the-Parkers | CF HRs at Polo Grounds | Yankees' Chaotic '82 | Atlanta Bookends | WWII Slugger | Salary Comparison | Leader on All Inside-the-Park HRs | Standing O for Dr. Strangelove

Odd Baseball Facts - II
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-Sar At-Bat | Games Played: 0; Ejections: 1 | AL MVP 1-2 1941 | One At-Bat, Two Ejections

Odd Baseball Facts - III
Statistical Anomalies | Staged Triple Play
Homer into Another Ballpark | Player Traded for Himself? | Kicked Out of His Very First Game? | Out with Old, In with New | One Hit Allowed in 18 Innings | From P to 1B | Ejected While Warming Up | HR Leader with 6

Odd Baseball Facts - IV
Five Shutouts vs One Team | Baseball to Bassist | Nearly Beat VanderMeer to the Punch | Best Two-Strike Hitter | Worst Pitching Staff Ever | Who Won the ERA Crown? | One Game Pitchers | One Game Batters | Three-Pitch Inning | First Game Called by Darkness; Let's Play Two

Odd Baseball Facts - V
HR in First ML AB | Ott Oddities | Franchises with Zero No-Hitters | Consecutive Almost No-Hitters | Perfect Game Drought | Double Culprit | Unique Four-Bagger | Brief Record
2 HRs in 3,372 AB | Same WP/LP Both Ends of DH

Odd Baseball Facts - VI
Odd Facts from 2010 Season | HR in First AB of Season | Strange Trades | Exact Same Records | 34 Runs with Only Two Extra-Base Hits | Player-Managers | Two-Out Run Streak
Three Pitches, Three HRs | Complete Game Streak | Bonham Begins and Ends

Odd Baseball Facts - VII
Save in 30-3 Game | No Grand Slams | 28 Assists in One Game | Same Runner Out at Plate Twice | Same Home/Road Record; Proliferation of Playoffs | Surprise Grand Slam Leader | Boston Braves And Their "Gigantic" Home Field | A Confluence of Threes | Last Two Suits in Dugouts

Odd Baseball Facts - VIII
Back-to-Back Slam Days | Staff of Losers
Four Hrs in Season - by a Team
The Game Is Not Over Until the Last Man Is Out | Four for Four
Thomson Had Another Chance to Be a Hero
Labine's Three HRs in '55
38 Starts, 27 Passed Balls
Strange Winning Pitcher Decisions

Odd Baseball Facts - IX
Player-Managers Rule!
38 Starts, 27 Passed Balls
Strange Winning Pitcher Decisions
Miscxellaneous Odd Facts
A Collection of Odd Facts
More Odd Facts



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