Errata:  Non-Batting Batters

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

Well, at least I got the team correct … it was still John McGraw’s New York Giants. McGraw was indeed pushing the envelope with both pinch-hitting specialists and non-batting batters.

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!

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