Friday, October 26, 2012

Early's dirty trick put out Pat Seerey

Uncommon commons: In more than 30 years in sportscards publishing I have thrown hundreds of notes into files about the players – usually non-star players – who made up the majority of the baseball and football cards I collected as a kid. Today, I keep adding to those files as I peruse microfilms of The Sporting News from the 1880s through the 1960s. I found these tidbits brought some life to the player pictures on those cards. I figure that if I enjoyed them, you might too.

             There’s probably a rule against it now, but in a game on July 26, 1946, Cleveland Indians outfielder Pat Seerey was having a bad day . . . and it got worse.

            Seerey had already struck out twice against Washington Senators pitcher Mickey Haefner and the home crowd at Municipal Stadium was booing him when he came up late in the game. But Seerey made contact and sent a dribbler down the third-base line.

            As Seerey raced towards first base, Senators catcher Jake Early called, “Foul ball. Foul.”

            Seerey stopped in his tracks and headed back to home plate. The Senators third baseman threw the ball to first.

            As Seerey took his stance anew at the plate, home plate umpire Cal Hubbard said, “I’m sorry, but you’re out.”

            “You called that a foul ball,” Seerey protested. “I didn’t say a thing,” said the ump, “That was Jake Early.”

            The Indians lost the game 5-4.

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