My article on Non-Batting Batters was posted on Baseball Think Factory for review and comment. Among the many interesting and informative comments it drew was one from a poster with the handle of Gerry, who gently pointed out that the article was in error in identifying the Giants’ Freddie Maguire in 1923 as the very first non-batting batter. In fact, the non-batting pioneer appeared nine years earlier:
Year Player Team B Age G by POS PA/G G PA R H XBH RBI SB CS BB SO BA OPS+ 1914 Sandy Piez NY N R 25 OF5 0.22 37 8 9 3 1 3 4 ? 0 1 .375 199
What’s especially interesting about this fellow isn’t just his extremely early appearance, but also the extreme manner in which he was deployed: Sandy Piez was used in a mode remarkably close to that of the pure pinch-running specialists of Charlie Finley’s A’s. Mr. Piez was just six decades ahead of his time.
Thanks so much to Gerry for bringing this to my attention!