Golden Baseball Magazine
January 19, 2018

"I'd play for half my salary if I could hit in this dump all the time."

Babe Ruth before Game 3 of the 1932 World Series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field after hitting nine out of the park in batting practice.

Cardinals Clubhouse

Profile: Rogers Hornsby - IV

Aided by the livelier ball, Hornsby craft­ed one of the greatest group of seasons in baseball history from 1920-1926.

Read more ...

The Ultimate Game

2017: Astros @ Dodgers

The winningest teams in the two leagues met in a classic World Series.

Read more ...

One Great Year

Snuffy Stirnweiss

The Yankees 2B had an outstanding 1944 season and an even better 1945 campaign.

Read more ...

Post-Season Surprises

Ken Boswell

The journeyman infielder had two productive postseasons for the New York Mets.

Read more ...

How Would You Rule?

Close play at the plate

Baseball Quiz

Switch-hitters with 350+ home runs

Wacky Weather and Gnashing Gnats
"Elements of Style," David Moran, Memories and Dreams: Official Publication of the Baseball Hall of Fame (Summer 2016)
The weather, the world and the wacky have all played a part in baseball history.

Ray Caldwell
A bolt from the blue
According to the National Weather Service, the odds of be­ing stuck by lightning in an average person's lifetime are one in 12,000. On Aug. 24, 1919, in Cleveland, those odds caught up with Indians pitcher Ray Caldwell. He was one out shy of a complete game victory against the visiting Philadelphia Athletics as A's batter "Jumpin' Joe" Dugan dug in. Just then, however, lightning flashed and Caldwell was knocked off his feet, falling unconscious as the crowd quieted and players gathered around him.
After an agonizingly long five minutes, Caldwell suddenly jumped up and, according to legend, immediately said to his catcher, "Give me the ball!" What is indisputable is that he took the ball and proceeded to retire Dugan on a ground ball to finish off the victory. To this day, Caldwell's remarkable experience is the only known instance of a big league player being struck by lightning on the field of play.
Living world
In addition to being vulnerable to extreme wea­ther, the outdoor game sometimes involves en­counters with the animal kingdom. Birds are the most common intruders, sometimes colliding with balls in the air, and there was even an alligator found in the dugout of the Charlotte (Fla.) Stone Crabs ballpark in 2015.
However, one of the smallest members of the animal kingdom proved to be one of its most fe­rocious during a 2007 playoff game in Cleveland. The Indians' home park, then known as Jacobs Field, was the site of the "Attack of the Gnats" in Game 2 of an American League Division Series be­tween the New York Yankees and Cleve­land.
Joba Chamberlain vs the Gnats
As Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain came in to protect a 1-0 Yankees lead in the eighth inning, a swarm of bugs surrounded his head and re­fused to leave. Team trainers sprayed Chamberlain between pitches to no avail. The relentless insects so unnerved him that he came unglued and blew the lead with two untimely wild pitches. The Indians won the game and eventually the series, thanks in part to the pesky behavior of an insect called midges.

Michael Sergio
Man-made mania
Sometimes the unusual and unexpected moments in outdoor baseball are not the result of natural phe­nomena, but rather man-made ones. In the first inning of ame 6 of the 1986 World Series, a Mets fan para­chuted into the infield grass trailing a banner that read "Let's Go Mets!" The flying fan, Michael Sergio, was a 37-year-old actor and a rabid Mets rooter. He was promptly escorted from the field and later fined $500 and sentenced to 100 hours of community service for the stunt. The Mets went on to win Game 6 and even­tually the world championship.

Our final tale of baseball and the great outdoors is the story of the only time a game was rained out at the Astrodome, the first domed stadium in baseball.
Opening in 1965, the arena was nicknamed "The Eighth Wonder of the World" as nothing like it had ever been seen before in sports. Its promise to eliminate the rain­out resulted in tickets being printed for the first time without the mandatory "rain check" affixed.
On June 15, 1976, the Astros were scheduled to play the visiting Pitts­burgh Pirates in an evening game. Shortly before noon, the skies opened up and a torrential downpour engulfed Houston. Downtown received 7.48 inches of rain by game time, and an unofficial reading near the Astrodome measured 10.47 inches. Streets all around the ballpark were flooded and by late afternoon it was impossible to get to the game.
Ironically, all players from both teams were in the house, having arrived early for pregame practice, and consideration was given to playing the game without fans. That idea was scratched when the umpires called and reported they had attempted to reach the stadium but their car stalled on flooded roads. The men in blue abandoned their vehicle and waded back to their hotel.

Houston flood of 1976