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was none other than George Herman “Babe” Ruth.


Ruth, however, was hardly the first Some home runs involve balls hit


out of the ballpark and others involve balls hit inside the ballpark—but there has been only one inside-the- doghouse homer. It occurred at Griffith Stadium, one-time home of the Washington Senators. There was a flagpole in center field at Griffith Stadium, and beside it was a small doghouse-like box in which the flag was stored between games. During one game, a Senators batter hit a pitch past Philadelphia center fielder Ralph Orlando “Socks” Seybold and right into the doghouse. Seybold dove in after it, and his head and shoulders got stuck. By the time he extricated himself, the runner was back in the dugout, credited with a home run.


or last player to have a dispute with an umpire. Consider, for example, Charles “Casey” Stengel’s often flammable relationships with umpires when he was a player. While playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1919, Stengel once caught a sparrow and put it under his cap just before he went up to bat. The umpire’s call on a pitch displeased him, so he doffed his hat to him, thus really giving him “the bird.” The umpire, in turn, gave Stengel the heave-ho.


Another pitcher, Jay Hanna “Dizzy” Dean, was a favorite of the fans, but he had a disquieting effect on opposing batters and umpires alike. From 1930 to 1937, Dean was the top pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and often was


u Following a career as a player that lasted from 1912 to 1925, Charles “Casey” Stengel went on to a highly successful career as a manager that lasted until 1965.


l This photo of George Herman


“Babe” Ruth, captured during a 1935 pre- season game, portrays Ruth at the very end of his career, when he was playing for the Boston Braves.


u Ralph Orlando “Socks” Seybold of the Philadelphia Athletics poses for a photo at Chicago’s South Side Park in 1903.


Pitchers, Umpires, and Batters On one occasion, on June 23, 1917, a Boston Red Sox pitcher started a game against the Washington Sena- tors by throwing four straight pitches outside the strike zone, allowing the leadoff batter to walk to first base. The pitcher didn’t agree with the umpire’s definition of the strike zone and told him so. The pitcher was promptly ejected from the game and replaced by Ernie Shore, who picked off the runner on first and then retired the next twenty-six batters for a disputed perfect game. The starting pitcher who was ejected from the game that day


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the top pitcher in the National League. Nonetheless, he wasn’t above trying to rattle a batter by asking him, “Son, what kind of pitch would you like to miss?” Baseball great Johnny “Pepper” Martin said of Dean: “When ole Diz was out there pitching, it was more than just another ball game. It was a regular three-ring circus, and everybody was wide awake and enjoying being alive.”


In one game when Dean was


pitching, the bases were loaded with two men out, and the league’s best hitter was settling into the batter’s box when Dean strolled off of the mound, walked to home plate, put his arm around the batter’s shoulder, and said: “Listen to the stands holler.


PHOTO: ©BETTMANN/CORBIS A P R I L 2 0 1 1


PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES


PHOTO: ©BETTMANN/CORBIS


PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES


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