On September 21, 1958 — At Fenway Park, the Red Sox complete a three-game sweep of the Senators, all by 2 – 0 shutouts pitched, respectively, by Tom Brewer, Frank Sullivan and Ike Delock. Today’s win, however, is marred when Ted Williams, after striking out looking with two aboard to end the 3rd inning (and less than 2 months after having incurred his second spitting-related fine in less than 2 years), flings his bat aside in a fit of anger. Unfortunately, the intended flip along the ground gains some unwanted elevation, flying into the stands and striking, of all people, Boston GM Joe Cronin’s 69-year-old housekeeper, Gladys Heffernan, in the head. “I didn’t mean to throw the bat that way,” explains the distraught Williams. “I started to flip it along the ground but the sticky stuff on my hands stuck to it and it left my hands on the fly instead. I was sick.” Mercifully Heffernan is not badly hurt, but Williams is greeted with a thunderous chorus of catcalls when he takes the field in the 4th. Cronin, for his part, hastily announces a 1-year contract extension for manager Mike Higgins in what is widely regarded as an attempt to distract attention from Ted’s near-tragic tantrum. Nonetheless, American League President Will Harridge will impose a modest $50-dollar fine for the incident.

 


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Sources:
Baseball Reference September 21
National Pastime September 21
Retro Sheet
Hall of Fame
SABR Games Project
Replay The Game