Saturday, May 04, 2013

Baseball Names - and How They Got That Way! Part IV

The words and phrases are spoken and written day after day, year after year - generally without any wonderment as to how they became part of the language. All have a history, a story. 

For those of you who liked Parts I thru III  and want more, here is more. 

"The Called Shot"  A heavier, slower and older Babe Ruth had much more to prove in 1932. And prove he did! Batting .341, driving in 137 runs, slugging 41 homers, the Sultan of Swat pushed the New York Yankees to another pennant. The Cubs of Chicago were the opposition in the World Series.
There was bad recent history between the two teams. Joe McCarthy had been let go as Chicago manager in 1930. He wanted payback. Ruth's old buddy, Mark Koenig, now a Cub, had helped his new team win the pennant. His Chicago teammates voted Ruth's old buddy only a half World Series share. The Babe was not happy about that.

On October l in Chicago during batting practice Ruth shouted: "Hey, you damn bum Cubs, you won't be seeing Yankee Stadium again. This is going to be all over Sunday." The Babe was referring to the fact that the Yanks had won the first two games in New York.               The game got underway before 49, 986. Lemons from the stands and curses from the Cubs were heaped upon the Yankees. Chicago fans showered Ruth with fruits and vegetables and other projectiles when he was on defense in the outfield. The Babe smiled, doffed his cap, felt the fire.

When he came to bat in the fifth inning, Ruth had already slugged a three run homer into the bleachers in right centerfield.    He had more in store. Right-hander Charlie Root got a strike on Ruth, who as accounts go, raised up one big finger and yelled "strike one!"

Another fast ball strike. Ruth, as the story continues, raised two fingers and bellowed "strike two!"

Then as the story has been handed down, the 38-year-old Yankee legend stepped out of the batter's box and pointed. Some said he pointed at Root; others said the pointed at the Chicago bench, others said at the centerfield bleachers. 

"To tell the truth," Joe McCarthy said, "I didn't see him point anywhere at all. But maybe I turned my head for a moment."

"The Babe pointed out to right field," said George Pipgras who pitched and won that game, "and that's where he hit the ball."   

The count was 2-2 when Babe swung from his heels.  Johnny Moore, the Chicago centerfielder started back, then stopped. The ball disappeared into the right field bleachers, 436 feet from home plate, the l5th and last World Series home run for Babe Ruth, the longest home run ever hit to that point in time in Wrigley Field.
"As I hit the ball," Ruth would say later, "every muscle in my system, every sense I had, told me that I had never hit a better one, that as long as I lived nothing would ever feel as good as this one."
Chicago fans cheered and applauded the Babe as he rounded the bases yelling out a different curse for each Cub infielder.

When the "Sultan of Swat" reached third base, he paused. Then he bowed toward the Chicago dugout. Then he came across home plate.

Through the years the debate has continued. Did he or did he not call the home run?  

Babe Ruth explained: "I didn't exactly point to any spot like the flagpole. I just sorta waved at the whole fence, but that was foolish enough. All I wanted to do was give the thing a ride...outta the park...anywhere. "Every time I went to the bat the Cubs on the bench would yell ' Oogly googly.'It's all part of the game, but this particular inning when I went to bat there was a whole chorus of Oogly goalies. The first pitch was a pretty good strike, and I didn't kick. But the second was outside and turned around to beef about it. As I said, Gabby Hartnett said 'Oogly googly.'That kinda burned me and I said  'All right, you bums, I'm gonna knock this one a mile.'  I guess I pointed, too."

CALLED STRIKE A strike that a batter does not swing at but which is announced as a strike by the umpire.

Can of corn  An lazy  fly ball.

Candy"  In 1939, William Arthur  Cummings was elected to the Hall of Fame, for his alleged invention of the curve ball more than his talent. His nickname came from fans ­ as a sign of affection.
"Cannon"    Jimmy Wynn, for his power at bat. 

"CAN'T ANYBODY HERE PLAY THIS GAME?" In 1960 Casey Stengel managed the New York Yankees to a first-place finish, on the strength of a .630 percentage compiled by winning 97 games and losing 57. By 1962  he was the manager of the New York Mets, a team that finished tenth in a ten-team league. They finished 60 games out of first place, losing more games ( 120) than any other team in the 20th century. Richie Ashburn, who batted .306 for the Mets that season and then retired, remembers those days: "It was the only time I went to a ball park in the major leagues and nobody expected you to win."

A bumbling collection of castoffs, not-quite-ready for prime-time major league ball players, paycheck collectors, and callow youth, the Mets underwhelmed the opposition. They had Jay Hook, who could talk for hours about why a curve ball curved (he had a Masters degree in engineering) but couldn't throw one consistently. They had "Choo-Choo" Coleman, an excellent low-ball catcher, but the team had very few low-ball pitchers. They had "Marvelous Marv" Throneberry, a Mickey Mantle look-a-like in the batter's box--and that's where the resemblance ended. Stengel had been spoiled with the likes of Mantle, Maris, Ford, Berra, etc. Day after day he would watch the Mets and be amazed at how they could find newer and more original ways to beat themselves. In desperation--some declare it was on the day he witnessed pitcher A1 Jackson go 15 innings yielding but three hits, only to lose the game on two errors committed by Marvelous Marv--Casey bellowed out his plaintive query, "Can't anybody here play this game?"

"Cap"  Adrian Constantine Anson, a shortening of his managerial title. He was also known as "Big Swede"for his size and Nordic extraction. 

"Captain Hook"  Manager  Sparky Anderson never hesitated to use his Cincinnati bullpen                             

"Carnesville Plowboy''  Spud Chandler was raised on a farm in  Carnesville, Georgia, hence the nickname.  Spurgeon "Spud" Chandler was better known during his collegiate days at the University of Georgia as a football player who also played baseball.  Chandler's had a career mark of 109-43  with the Yankees from 1937-47. He was a part of seven World Series teams. 
 "CASEY AT THE BAT" The title of the Ernest Thayer poem, written in 1888, about the legendary hero of the Mudville baseball team. The final stanzas are especially famous:

The sneer is gone from Casey's lip; his teeth are clenched with hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate;
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.
Oh, somewhere in this favored land, the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville--mighty Casey has struck out!

"CAT-a-lyst" name given to Mickey Rivers by Howard Cosell for his ability to trigger Yankee team offense.

(to be continued)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Writing About Jackie Robinson: An Experience at Once Moving, Poignant, Inspirational


       With the release of the new film focused on “Number 42,” interest in Jackie Robinson has been revived and rightfully so. He is an important historical figure. And I had the opportunity to do a lot of writing about Jack Roosevelt Robinson in several of my books.
So for your reading pleasure, a tasting menu.
         One of the perks I have experienced in writing sports books and articles has been the interesting characters I have met, the friendships I have made.
          One such person was Irving Rudd, a Damon Runyan type character who for a time was the publicity director of the old Brooklyn Dodgers.
          Irving became a good friend of mine and my wife Myrna. His words enrich my book RICKEY AND ROBINSON. His words over and over again enriched the five oral histories the Frommer have written.
          Jackie Robinson and Irving Rudd had a special relationship.What follows is an insight into the black pioneer from our book IT HAPPENED IN THE CATSKILLS. It comes to you in the voice of Irving Rudd
       Recalling a winter weekend in 1954. Irving and his wife and Jackie Robinson and his wife Rachel went up to the famed Grossinger's Hotel for some relaxation.
          IRVING RUDD: "You skate?" Jackie Robinson asked.
           "Not very well." I answered.
            "C'mon, Irv; let's go skating anyway."
          I said, "Okay," and we all went to the icehouse. We put skates on. The wives go to the rail to watch. Jackie goes out on the ice and proceeds to lose his balance and falls flat on his back. Geez! The image of Walter O'Malley, the owner of the Dodgers, came into my head. I just blew my job. Jackie Robinson just fractured something - why didn't I stop him from skating?
          Then Robinson gets up and brushes himself off. 
          "C'mon, Irv, let's race!" He gives me that big smile.
          So the two of us like two drunks go around the rink of Grossinger's. He's flopping on his knees. I'm sliding on my can. We get up and keep going and flopping and going and flopping and going. And he beats me by five yards.
          "Let's do it again," he says.
         Around we go. This time he beats me by about 20 yards.
          "One more time," he says.
          By now, he's really skating. He is such a natural, gifted athlete. He's skating like a guy who has been at it for weeks. It's no contest. He's almost lapped the field on me.
          Now there's a crowd that's gathered and they're cheering. He puts his arms around me, and he wasn't a demonstrative man.     "Irv," he says, "am I glad you were here this weekend with me. I just had to beat someone before I went home."
          That story give true insight into Jack Roosevelt Robinson and what he went through in his time as a Brooklyn Dodger.  And what a time it was: He played in the major leagues for a decade. He won the inaugural Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949, and he helped the Dodgers win six pennants and one world championship. Despite all the pressure he played under, Jackie Robinson was still able to record a lifetime batting average of .311.
          From my point of view there is no event in sports history as significant as the breaking of baseball's color Line. It changed the national pastime forever. It ushered in a whole new era in baseball and in all sports.  All these long years after Robinson's death at the age of only 53 in 1972  - -more athletes, not just the black ones, would be well served to remember the debt owed Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey.
         Here is how I described what it was like at the very start in my book RICKEY AND ROBINSON.
          With the blue number 42 on the back of his Brooklyn Dodger home uniform, Jackie Robinson took his place at first base at Ebbets Field on April 15, 1947. It was 32 years to the day since Jack Johnson had become the first black heavyweight champion of the world.
          Many of the 26,633 at that tiny ballpark on that chilly spring day were not even baseball fans, but had come out to see "the one" who would break the sport's age-old color line. Robinson's wife, Rachel, was there along with the infant Jackie, Jr. Many in the crowd wore "I'm for Jackie" buttons and badges, and screamed each time the black pioneer came to bat or touched the ball.
           Jackie Robinson grounded out to short his first time up. He was retired on a fly ball to left field in his second at bat. He grounded into a rally-killing double play in his final at bat of the day.
           The Dodgers won the game, 5-3, nipping Johnny Sain and the Boston Braves. For Robinson it was a muted performance, but the first of his 1,382 major league games was in the record books - and he had broken baseball's color line forever.
          "I was nervous on my first day in my first game at Ebbets Field," Robinson told reporters afterward. "But nothing has bothered me since."
          On April 18, 1947, at the Polo Grounds, in the shadow of the largest black community in the country, Jackie Robinson smashed his first major league home run as the Dodgers defeated the Giants, 10-4.
           Writer James Baldwin had noted: "Back in the thirties and forties, Joe Louis was the only hero that we ever had. When he won a fight, everybody in Harlem was up in heaven. On that April day the large contingent of blacks in the crowd of nearly 40, 000 had another hero to be "up in heaven" about, another hero to stand beside Joe Louis."
          Part sociological phenomenon, part entertainment spectacle, part revolution, part media event - the Jackie Robinson story played out its poignant, dramatic and historic scenes through that 1947 season.
          Toward the end of the season, a Jackie Robinson Day was staged at Ebbets Field. Robinson was now a major drawing card rivaling Bob Feller and Ted Williams in the American League.
           `"I thank you all." Robinson said over the microphone in that high-pitched voice. He acknowledged the gifts he'd received, which included a new car, a television and radio set and an electric broiler.
           The famed and great dancer “Bill “Bojangles” Robinson stood next to Jackie Robinson. "I am 69 years old," Bill Robinson said. "But I never thought I would live to see the day when I would stand face to face with Ty Cobb in Technicolor."
          The motivations of Brooklyn Dodger general Manager Branch Rickey have always been questioned. Why did he sign Jackie Robinson? How much of what he did came from a moral conviction that the color line must go, and how much came from a desire to make money and field a winning team?
          Monte Irvin,who wrote the foreword to my book  who came up to star for the New York Giants in 1949, suggests that what Rickey did is far more important than why he did it.
          "Regardless of the motives," Irvin observes, "Rickey had the conviction to pursue and to follow through."
          Breaking baseball's color line enabled Rickey to tap into a gold mine, but he elected not to monopolize the rich lode of talent in the Negro Leagues.
          Monte Irvin cold have been a Brooklyn Dodger, as well as other Negro League greats like Larry Doby, Sam Jethroe, Satchel Paige. But Rickey had Robinson, Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe and Joe Black. He was very much in favor of the other teams integrating, too.
          Bigoted major league club owners who had called Rickey complaining, "You're gonna kill baseball bringing that nigger in now," were now asking, "Branch, do you know where I can get a couple of colored boys as good as Jackie and Campy and Newk?"
          Branch Rickey invented the baseball farm system when he was with the St. Louis Cardinals and presided over their famous Gashouse gang. He was an incredibly brilliant baseball man. He ran the Dodgers with a calm efficiency. Part of that calm efficiency translated to advising Robinson well. Reacting to the taunts and threats, and fighting back against the bigots could win a battle. But too much protesting could lose the war.
          Jackie Robinson took the abuse: the cut signs by players near their throats, the verbal curses, the spiking attempts, the cold shouldering, the death threats that came in the mail.        
          By 1949, Jackie Robinson was in his third season as a Brooklyn Dodger and was no longer the lone black man on the baseball diamond - he could now let it all hang out. Branch Rickey who had kept the man Dodger fans called "Robby" under wraps was elated.
          "I sat back happily," Rickey recalled, "knowing that with the restraints removed, Robinson was going to show the National League a thing or two."
          Jackie's wife Rachel Robinson told me: "It was hard for a man as assertive as Jack to contain his own rage, yet he felt that the end goal was so critical that there was no question that he would do it. And he knew he could do it even better if he could ventilate, express himself, use his own style."
          And what a style it was!
           At times the style seemed to be a case of trick photography. He was an illusionist in a baseball uniform, a magician on the base paths. The walking leads, the football-like slides, the change of pace runs all were part of Robinson’s approach to the game.
          Today Jackie Robinson remains the stuff of dreams, the striving for potential, the substance of accomplishment. Today he remains a powerful, driving symbol of a person with limitless athletic ability, the weight of his people on his soul, raging against a world he didn't make.
          Jack Roosevelt Robinson played for the Dodgers of Brooklyn for a decade, and then he was done. Not many remember that he was actually traded to the New York Giants in 1956 - -but he refused to go. The owner of the  Giants Horace Stoneham presented Robinson with a blank check –“Fill in the amount…”           
       Jackie refused. “I came in as a Dodger and that’s how I go out,”he said. “Thanks anyway.”
          The thanks is due the man they called “Robby” for  what he accomplished in breaking the color line in baseball will last through all eternity. He blazed a path for many to follow, and they have enriched the game of baseball with their talent, verve, drive, and commitment.  It has become a better game.
      I had the good fortune to interview Jack’s brother Mack Robinson in Pasadena, California. I was a bit shocked that he taped me taping him. He was that suspicious of writers. But that is another story.
     “From time to time, Mack told me, “I’m watching sporting events and I look at the TV screen and I see Jackie Robinson. I look at the whole spectrum of black America’s life from 1900 to 1947. We’re no longer the butlers, the servants, the maid. We’re senators and congressmen. We’re baseball managers. I trace it back to my brother and Branch Rickey breaking the color line and creating a social revolution in a white man’s world. Blacks have excelled in all areas because Jackie Robinson showed the world we could.?
          The last words in my RICKEY AND ROBINSON  also belong to Irving Rudd:
           "I always used to think of who I would like going down a dark alley with me. I can think of a lot of great fighters, gangsters I was raised with in Brownsville, strong men like Gil Hodges. But for sheer courage, I would pick Jackie (Robinson). He didn't back up."
         Finally, a story that appears in IT HAPPENED IN BROOKLYN, the oral history I wrote along with my wife Myrna Katz Frommer.
          The speaker is identified as MAX WECHSLER:
          When school was out, I sometimes went with my father in his taxi. One summer morning, we were driving in East Flatbush down Snyder Avenue when he pointed out a dark red brick house with a high porch.
          “I think Jackie Robinson lives there,?he said. He parked across the street, and we got out of the cab, stood on the sidewalk, and looked at it.
          Suddenly the front door opened. A black man in a short-sleeved shirt stepped out. I didn’t believe it. Here we were on a quiet street on a summer morning. No one else was around. This man was not wearing the baggy, ice-cream-white uniform of the Brooklyn Dodgers that accentuated his blackness. He was dressed in regular clothes, coming out of a regular house in a regular Brooklyn neighborhood, a guy like anyone else, going for a newspaper and a bottle of milk.
          Then incredibly, he crossed the street and came right towards me. Seeing that unmistakable pigeon-toed walk, the rock of the shoulders and hips I had seen so many times on the baseball field, I had no doubt who it was.
          “Hi Jackie, I’m one of your biggest fans,?I said self-consciously. “Do you think the Dodgers are gonna win the pennant this year?”
         His handsome face looked sternly down at me. “We’ll try our best,”he said.
          “Good luck,” said.
          “Thanks.” He put his big hand out, and I took it. We shook hands, and I felt the strength and firmness of his grip.
          I was a nervy kid, but I didn’t ask for an autograph or think to prolong the conversation. I just watched as he walked away down the street.
          At last the truth can be told. I am blowing my own cover. That kid, was me.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Baseball Names - and How They Got That Way! (Part 3)

By Harvey Frommer

The words and phrases are spoken and written day after day, year after year - generally without any wonderment as to how they became part of the language. All have a history, a story. Now with the 2013 baseball season with us  -some more language of baseball to savor, to enjoy.

For those of you who liked Part I, Part II and wrote in to offer suggestions and ask for more - here is more - Part III.  As always, reactions and suggestions always welcome.

THE BABE   George Herman Ruth probably leads the list for most nick-names acquired. First called "Babe" by teammates on the Baltimore Orioles, his first professional team because of his youth, G.H.Ruth was also called "Jidge" by Yankee teammates, short for George. They also called  him "Tarzan." He called most players "Kid," because he couldn't remember names, even of his closest friends.  Opponents called him "The Big "Monk" and "Monkey."

Many of Babe Ruth's nick-names came from over-reaching sports writers who attempted to pay tribute to his slugging prowess:" The Bambino", "the Wali of Wallop", "the Rajah of Rap", "the Caliph of Clout", "the Wazir of Wham", and "the Sultan of Swat",  The Colossus of Clout,  Maharajah of Mash,  The Behemoth of Bust, "The King of Clout."     

His main nickname was rooted in President Grover Cleveland's Baby Ruth. Perhaps the greatest slugger of all time and also one of baseball's most colorful characters, Ruth set some 50 records in his 22 years as a player. His accomplishments, his personality, his nickname-all combined to rocket major league baseball firmly into the nation's psyche.

"Babe" and "Ruth"  In spring training 1927, Babe Ruth bet pitcher Wilcy Moore $l00 that he would not get more than three hits all season. A notoriously weak hitter, Moore somehow managed to get six hits in 75 at bats.  Ruth paid off his debt and Moore purchased two mules for his farm. He named them "Babe" and "Ruth "for Ruth    

CHIEF BENDER Charles Albert Bender won 210 games and compiled a 2.45 lifetime earned-run average in 16 years of pitching. He was admitted to baseball's Hall of Fame in 1953. His nickname came from the fact that he was a Chippewa Indian.

CLOWN PRINCE OF BASEBALL Al Schacht performed for only three seasons as a member of the Washington Senators (1919-21), but he still was able to make a mighty reputation on the baseball field. Schacht was a comic and his routines centered on the foibles and eccentricities of the National Pastime. It was said that nobody did it better, and that's why Schacht was dubbed the Clown Prince.

DAFFINESS BOYS Also known as Dem Brooklyn Bums, the 1926 Brooklyn Dodgers wrought havoc on friend and foe alike. The hotshot of the team was freeswinging, slump-shouldered Babe Herman, dubbed the Incredible Hoiman, who bragged that among his stupendous feats was stealing second base with the bases loaded. Once Herman was one of a troika of Dodger base runners who found themselves all on third base at the same time. A Dodger rookie turned to Brooklyn manager "Uncle" Wilbert Robinson on the bench. "You call that playing baseball?" "Uncle" Robbie responded, "Leave them alone. That's the first time they've been together all year."

"DON'T LOOK BACK. SOMETHING MIGHT BE GAINING ON YOU"  This line of homespun wisdom formed the sixth rule of a recipe attributed to former baseball pitching great Leroy "Satchel" Paige. The other five rules were (1) avoid fried meats which angry up the blood; (2) if your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts; (3) keep your juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move; (4) go very gently on the vices, such as carrying on in society-the social ramble ain't restful; (5) avoid running at all times. It seems that most of us have managed to break all of Mr. Paige's rules more than once. As for rule 5-don't tell it to your neighborhood jogger.

DOUBLE NO  HITTER It's almost a baseball cliché.  A no-hitter is tossed. And the next time that pitcher takes the mound, there is all the talk and speculation about the possibility of a second straight no-no taking place.  And always what Johnny Vander Meer did 62 years ago today comes back into the public consciousness.

On June 11, 1938, the Cincinnati hurler no-hit the Boston Bees, 3-0. Four nights later, he was tabbed to start against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the first night game ever in the New York City metropolitan area. To that point in time, only two pitchers had ever recorded two career no-hitters. No one had ever posted two no-hitters in a season. No one had probably even contemplated back-to-back no-hitters.

More than 40,000 (Fire Department rules notwithstanding) jammed into Ebbets Field to see the first night game in that tiny ball park's history and also bear witness to Vander Meer questing after his second straight no-hitter. Utilizing a one-two-three-four pitching rhythm that saw him cock his right leg in the air before he delivered the ball to the plate, "Vandy" featured a fast ball that was always moving and a curve ball that broke ever so sharply. Inning after inning, the Dodgers went down hitless. In the seventh inning, Vander Meer walked two batters. But the fans of "Dem Bums" cheered the Cincinnati pitcher on, sensing they were witnessing baseball history. The ninth inning began with Cincinnati holding a 6-0 lead. Buddy Hasset was retired on a grounder. Then suddenly, Vander Meer lost control of the situation. He loaded the bases on walks. Reds manager Bill McKechnie came out to the mound to talk to his beleaguered pitcher. 

"Take it easy, Johnny," he said, "but get the no-hitter." Vander Meer got Ernie Koy to hit a grounder to infielder Lou Riggs, who conservatively elected to go to the plate for the force-out for the second out. The bases were still loaded, though. Leo "Lippy" Durocher, the Dodger player-manager and a veteran of many wars, stepped into the batter's box.                                                 
Only the "Lip" stood between Vander Meer and the double no-hitter. Durocher took a lunging swing and smashed the ball down the right-field line. But it went foul into the upper deck. Bedlam and tension intermingled at Ebbets Field as Vander Meer's left arm came around and delivered the pitch to Durocher, who swung and popped up the ball into short center field. Harry Craft clutched the ball. Johnny Vander Meer had made baseball history.
Fans leaped out onto the playing field, but Vander Meer's Cincinnati teammates had formed a protective shield around the exhausted hurler as he scurried into the relative calm of the dugout. His mother and father, who had come to see their son pitch with about 500 others from their hometown, were not as lucky. Swarms of well wishers and autograph-hunters milled about Vandy's parents. It took about half an hour before they could be extricated from the mob of admirers. The event remains in memory as the miracle of 1938, consecutive no-hitters spun by John Samuel Vander Meer, the man they called the "Dutch Master." President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent congratulations. Newspapers and magazines featured every detail of the event for months. For Vander Meer, the double no-hitters were especially sweet coming against Boston and Brooklyn - teams he tried out for and been rejected by.
Vander Meer performed for 13 big-league seasons, winning 119 games and losing 121. He perhaps would be remembered as a southpaw pitcher who never totally fulfilled his promise if it had not been for the epic moments of June 11 and June 15, 1938.                          

HITLESS WONDERS The 1906 Chicago White Sox had a team batting average of .230, the most anemic of all the clubs in baseball that year. The team's pitching, however, more than made up for its lack of hitting. The White Sox staff recorded shutouts in 32 of the team's 93 victories. The "Hitless Wonders" copped the American League pennant and faced the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. The Cubs of 1906 are regarded as one of the greatest baseball teams of all time; they won 116 games that year, setting the all-time major league mark for victories in a season and for winning percentage. The White Sox continued their winning ways in the World Series, however, trimming their cross town rivals in six games.
"hitting for the cycle"   Hit a single, double, triple and home run in the same game, not necessarily in that order. 

HORSE COLLAR Describes a situation when a player gets no hits in a game.

KLU Ted Kluszewski played 15 years in the major leagues. He pounded out 279 homers, recorded a lifetime slugging average of nearly .500 and a career batting average of nearly . 300. He was a favorite of the Cincinnati fans; at 6'2" and 225 pounds, his bulging biceps were too huge to be contained by ordinary shirt-sleeves. Kluszewski cut off the sleeves and started a new fashion in baseball uniforms-just as fans and sportswriters cut off part of his name to make for a nickname more easily pronounced and printed.

LONSOME GEORGE  Former legendary Yankee General Manager George Weiss, for his aloof ways.                                                                                                    

MAHATMA   Branch Rickey (1881-1965) was one of baseball's most influential personalities. Inventor of the farm system, the force responsible for Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color line, the master builder of the St. Louis Cardinal and Brooklyn Dodger organizations, he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1967. Sportswriter Tom Meany coined Rickey's nickname. Meany got the idea from John Gunther's phrase describing Mohandas K. Gandhi as a" combination of God, your own father, and Tammany Hall."

NICKEL SERIES  Refers to old days when New York City teams played against each other and the tariff was a five cents subway ride.

NUMBER l/8   On August 19, 1951, Eddie Gaedel, wearing number l/8, came to bat for the St. Louis Browns against the Detroit Tigers. Gaedel, who was signed by Browns owner Bill Veeck, walked on four straight pitches and was then replaced by a pinch runner. The next day the American League banned Gaedel, despite Veeck's protests. Gaedel was a midget, only three feet, seven inches tall.