The Most Memorable Baseball Stunts of All Time
March 21st 2015
Chicago-based blogger Beth Kelly takes a look at the most memorable stunts in Baseball.
The fun in baseball doesn’t always come from watching the games. The light moments that arrive once in a while can also make baseball entertaining. While some of the events listed below are intentional, most of them just happen.
The “Minty Ball”
The enthusiastic catcher, Wilbert Robinson, decided to make an unforgettable statement, claiming that he was capable of catching a ball dropped from a plane. Ruth Law, a pilot, decided to offer his services to test this theory. So, on a rainy afternoon in 1915, Ruth took off. Moments later, Robinson was heard shouting for help, claiming that he had blood all over him. Turned out that a piece of fruit had been substituted for the ball, and the juice from the fruit had scared Robinson!
Richie Ashburn was well known for his strategy of fouling pitch after pitch until he achieved his goal. However, in 1957, he did his usual trick and his wife, Alice ended up being hit in the face, breaking her nose. As she was being taken to hospital on a stretcher, Richie fouled another ball which hit his wife again!
Gabby Street, a Washington catcher,was finally able to catch a ball thrown at the Washington monument by Preston Gibson, a journalist, on August 21st, 1908. Gabby had tried this several times before, and his success paved way for many more players to try.
Baseball rules have not always been the same. Before 1920, players were allowed to apply any foreign substances on the ball to affect its flight. Tar, saliva, and vaseline were some of the most famous tricks. Marty O’Toole was good at the art, and made a habit of altering the ball. In 1912 during a game against the Phils, Fred Luderus decided to get even with Marty. Fred had a liniment tube in his pocket and made sure to rub the ball with liniment each time he touched it. Soon, O’Toole, who had been applying salvia, then unknowingly returning liniment to his mouth, was unable to bear the burning feeling on his tongue, and promptly left the game. In 1920, it was declared that foreign substances were no longer allowed on the ball.
Another “Plane Catcher”
Babe Ruth caught a baseball which had been dropped from a plane which was approximately two hundred and three hundred feet above ground on the 22nd July in 1926 during a promotion for the army. Captain Harold McClelland was the pilot of the day.
The Cleveland Duo
The ten thousand people who were gathered in Cleveland on the 20th of August 1938 were not disappointed. The crowd had gathered to see if Hank Helf and Frankie Pytlak would succeed in catching the balls which had been thrown from the terminal tower, which stands a whopping 708 feet tall. Though there were some high bounces and a few misses, the duo managed to complete a number of catches.
What could be more interesting than baseball’s All-American appeal? The best thing about it is that one can bring the entire family along to share the fun and joy, or can create memories at home by tuning in with the extensive channels available through DirecTV packages for Ohio and other states, and similar programs. No matter how you choose to enjoy the sport, don’t forget to enjoy the moments beyond the game as well!