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Forgotten (and Fun) Baseball Facts

Forgotten (and Fun) Baseball Facts
August 25
04:26 2021

Forgotten Baseball Facts

By John Christian Hopkins

Eddie Gaedel

Some baseball players gained fame for their unusual connection to the sport. One such was Eddie Gaedel, the midget who got an at-bat with the St. Louis Browns on August 19, 1951. At three feet-seven inches, he became the shortest player to ever appear in a Major League game! Pinch-hitter Gaedel walked on four pitches in his only Major League at-bat and never took the field. (One of only five players to that.)

After that the American League president voided Gaedel’s contract. Team owner Bill Veeck was accused of making a mockery of the game. Since then, no player can appear in a game until the contract is approved by the league.

In 1961 Chicago native Gaedel was followed home from a bowling alley and beaten to death.

At least Gaedel had an at-bat, there have been players who appeared in a game, but never got the chance to come to the plate.

The movie “Field of Dreams” brings one of those players to life – Archie “Moonlight” Graham.

In 1905 Graham was inserted as a rightfielder for the defending National League Champion New York Giants. He played the field, but he never got an at-bat (he was on-deck when his team’s final out was made).

In the Kevin Costner movie Graham walks away from professional baseball right after that. But in reality Graham, who became a doctor in 1905, played three more seasons in the minor leagues before hanging up his glove.

Graham did give free eye exams to local kids and provide them with glasses, if needed. “Doc” Graham, as he was known after retiring from baseball, passed away on August 25, 1965.

Clarence Blethen

Have you ever heard of Clarence Waldo Blethen? He was born in 1893 in Maine, and made seven appearances in the majors, as a pitcher. But his main claim to fame was a freak accident he sustained during a minor league game in 1933.

You see, Blethen – who played minor league ball for nearly 18 years – hurt himself when he accidentally bit himself in the butt!

You read that right. But how, you may wonder, does someone chomp on their own arse? Well Blethen wore false teeth and, when running the bases, he kept them on his hip pocket.

In a 1933 game Blethen, playing for the Knoxville Smokies, was sliding into second base when his chompers clamped down on what a newspaper account referred to a “tender region” of his anatomy.

Blethen died in 1973, still the “butt” of many jokes.

Forgotten (and Fun) Baseball Facts - overview

Summary: Forgotten Baseball Facts


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