This week we look at Curt Flood going to Washington. Bean Balls that changed lives – Ray Chapman and Tony C, Power steals by Vic Power, and lost icon as Mickey Mantle Passes away, One incredible streak by Jack Taylor.
Listen to our new section on Fan Stories – today we thank Ray Wilson.
On Episode 3 – we are back-stepping through August 12 – 18th.
On August 12, 1970 — Judge Irving Ben Cooper rules against Curt Flood in his antitrust suit. Cooper says “Decisions of the Supreme Court are not lightly overruled… We find no general or widespread disregard of the extremely important position the player occupies… Clearly, the preponderance of credible proof does not favor the elimination of the reserve clause.” However, the judge says changes in the reserve clause should be made through negotiation but denies Flood damages. Flood will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court but in vain.
Flood, of course, blazed the trail with his actions for Free Agency. I heard from some fans they are unhappy Flood changed baseball history with his movement, but I don’t see it that way.
I would love to discuss this with you on our facebook group page.
One Amazing streak comes to an end.
On August 13, 1906 — At Washington Park in Brooklyn, John “Brakeman” Taylor is replaced by a reliever for the first time since June of 1901 when the Brooklyn Superbas knock him out of the game in the third inning. During the five-year span, the Orphans’ right-hander completed a remarkable 1,727 innings of work that included 187 consecutive complete games, as well as finishing up 15 games in relief, during this stretch of 202 appearances he was not relived once. In 10 years, he will fail to finish only eight of 286 starts.
The Orphans, who will become the Cub’s however dismantled the Superbas, later to be named the Dodgers 11-3 and Orval Overall will pick up the W. In a 15 game series vs the upstart Chicago White Sox, Rumors swirled about the series, with James A. Hart accusing Taylor of having “laid down” against the Sox in his last three starts. He was traded in the offseason on 1903 from the team and then reacquired during the 1906 season. Taylor retired after the 1907 season when the Cub’s would win their first of 2 straight World Series.
On August 14, 1958, Vic Power of the Cleveland Indians steals home twice in the same game. His second stolen base gives the Indians a 10-9 win in 10 innings. Not known for his base-stealing ability, Power will finish the season with only three stolen bases.
During his 12-year career Power will steal 45 total bases and get caught 35 times, he stole 9 twice and in 1959 he had a career-high 9 steaks and 13 caught stealing. Power mainly a starter, also appeared 4 times in his career as a pinch-runner, at age 36 and 38. He also once got out of a jam on the base paths by running directly towards the fielder running with the ball, while waving his arms in the air. He flustered him enough that he threw the ball to someone else instead of tagging Power.
Needless to say, despite his amazing feat, Ty Cobb was never concerned by Vic.
August 15, 1995 – At the request of the Mantle family, Bob Costas delivers the eulogy at Mickey’s funeral. The popular broadcaster, known for his love of the game and his admiration of the Yankee superstar, describes the Hall of Famer as “a fragile hero to whom we had an emotional attachment so strong and lasting that it defied logic.”
August 16/17, 1920 – On a dreary afternoon at the Polo Grounds in New York, popular Indians shortstop Ray Chapman suffers a fractured skull when he is hit in the head by a fastball thrown by Yankee right-handed submariner Carl Mays.
Ray Chapman led off the fifth inning and the first pitch from Mays struck him on the left side of his head. He crumpled to the ground. Umpire Tommy Connolly, who was working the plate, immediately turned to the stands. He requested the services of a physician. Two responded to Connolly’s plea. A silence came over the crowd as the doctors worked on Chapman. Eventually, he was able to get to his feet with the aid of two teammates and walked across the infield to the Cleveland clubhouse (which players accessed through the center field at the Polo Grounds). But Chapman lost consciousness, and two teammates had to carry him to the clubhouse. Chapman was taken to St. Lawrence Hospital, a half-mile from the ballpark.
Chapman will survive the surgery that night but The 29-year-old newlywed will die shortly before daybreak tomorrow, becoming be the first and only on-field player fatality in major league history.
Many players wanted to take action against Carl Mays, but none was ever taken.
“It is the most regrettable incident of my baseball career,” said Mays. “I would give anything if I could undo what has happened. Chapman was a game, splendid fellow.”
August 18, 1967, another tragedy occurs, Boston born and raised Tony Conigliaro playing for his hometown Red Sox is beaned by the Angels’ Jack Hamilton. Hit on the left cheekbone, just below the eye socket, Conigliaro the 22-year-old who is showing Cooperstown stature will miss the rest of this year and all of 1968.
The batting helmet he was wearing did not have the protective ear-flap that has since become standard. He was able to win the comeback player of the year award in 69, and hit a career-high 36 home runs in 1970, but had to retire after a short stint with the Angels in 1971 because of the damage to his vision.
From Bill Nowlin in his SABR bio I got this tidbit, Ted Williams warned Ed Penney, Tony’s partner in a music business “Tell Tony that he’s crowding the plate. Tell him to back off.” He said, “It’s getting too serious now with the Red Sox.” Penney remembered, “I told him I would. I’d see him the next night. When we were walking across the field to get the kids, and Ted was going up to the stands to make some kind of talk, he turned around and yelled over to me and said, ‘Don’t forget what I told you to tell Tony. Back off, because they’ll be throwing at him.’”
Tony was in a slump at the time and told his brother Billy he couldn’t back off the plate or pitchers wouldn’t take him seriously. If anything, he was going to dig in a little closer.
We all would have been a little better off to see where his amazing career could of have gone.
Now for a special new segment – A fans story – by Raymond Wilson
On August 8, 1987 – Steve Carlton, now a Minnesota Twin won his only game as a MN Twin – it turned out to be the last win of his great career of 329 wins. Ray was there – a 9 to 2 win over the Oakland A’s. He pitched into the 9th inning. In 1994 – Ray was there in Cooperstown when he Carlton was enshrined in the BB H of Fame.
The day after, Steve signed autographs . . . I got in line – the very FIRST in line – (3 hour wait – so worth it! ). He autograph my baseball, which had a Minnesota logo on it. I told Steve about being at his 329th win – he said, you sure go all out and a long way 🙂 . . . You see the baseball belonged to my son, Joey, who was given that ball by his grandpa at a concession stand the night of the game. Joey’s favorite player was Kirby Puckett – once in the game, Joey stood and yelled, Come on Kirby – hit a homerun! The very first pitch, Kirby hit a HR. Sadly, Joey died in 1988 . . . (long illness) . . . So along with Steve’s signature – a few years later, Kirby also autograph that baseball. I keep the ball in a plastic cube. . . My daughter’s Susanna, – she named her first son, – gave him Joseph as his middle name. . . Years from now I will eventually pass that ball onto my daughter and then she later will pass it on to her son, – a momento . . . That game — my visit to Cooperstown – hearing his speech . . . talking with him…. a treasured memory I will have forever! Thank you Ray for sharing your story.
If you want to share your stories with us, simply send me an email at [email protected] they will always be presented best be yourself. Go to thisdayinbaseball.com/fan-stories and record yours right on my website!
Thanks for joining me today on this day in baseballs daily rewind! I hope you enjoyed the show and here is the trivia answer
When the tiger’s bullpen catcher was hit over the head, umpire George Pipgras thought he was dead. Alas he was not, he came too and the police caught the fellow he tossed the create at the Tiger catcher. The fellon was roughed up a bit, but it was the catcher who eventually would be acquitted on charges believe it or not. Who am I – Birdie Tebbetts.
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