December 5, 2013
Get It Now!Hardball Times Annual is now available. It's got 300 pages of articles, commentary and even a crossword puzzle. You can buy the Annual at Amazon, for your Kindle or on our own page (which helps us the most financially). However you buy it, enjoy!
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Monday, February 04, 2013
40,000 days ago, Rube Waddell pitched eight-ninths of a no-hitter—but boy, oh boy, did he ever miss on that nine-ninths.
No, this isn’t a tale of a pitcher losing a no-hitter in the ninth inning. That happens rather frequently. What happened on Aug. 1, 1903 was far stranger.
Waddell was the hurler for Connie Mack’s A’s, and he was up against Jack Chesbro of the New York Highlanders (as the Yankees were then called). In the first time through the order, only one man was able to get a hit against Waddell, shortstop Kid Elberfeld. That name would be a curse upon Waddell all day long.
You see, Elberfeld had a whammy on Waddell that day. It didn’t make any difference what Waddell threw, Elberfeld had the answer. Each time up, he got a hit. Four times in all Elberfeld came to the plate, and when the day ended, he had four hits.
Meanwhile, the other Highlanders couldn’t do a damn thing against Waddell. Box scores from the game aren’t available, but odds are Waddell walked his share of men. Maybe the A’s committed an error or two. But no one else could get a hit. Waddell had as strong a whammy on the non-Elberfeld parts of the lineup as Elberfeld had on him.
Things like this happen. A little over 40 years ago, Billy Williams got three hits against Phil Niekro while Williams’ Cub teammates had none. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s happened. But four hits all from one bat? I’m not sure that’s ever happened again.
It was worse than a fluky lost no-hitter for Waddell, though. He didn’t just lose the no-hitter, but he also lost the game. New York managed to push three runs across the plate to give the Highlanders a 3-2 win.
It must’ve been a mighty frustrating day for Waddell, and that day was 40,000 days ago.
Aside from that, many other events have their anniversary or “day-versary”) which is something that happened X-thousand days ago) today. Here they are, with the better ones in bold if you’d rather just skim.
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