Friday, May 15, 2009

Some of the Strangest Characters in Baseball in 1944-45

Some of the strangest characters in baseball history emerged during the war. In 1944, the Cincinnati Reds sent 15-year-old Joe Nuxhall to the mound to pitch. He was the youngest player in Major League history and played like it as well. Not lasting even an inning, he gave up five earned runs and faced only nine batters.

Eight years later, he would re-emerge as a very good pitcher and play until 1966.
Probably the most storied case of a has-been or never-should-have-been making it to the majors was that of Pete Gray. Pete was right-handed until he lost his right arm, at age 6, when he slipped while riding on a farmer’s wagon and his right arm was caught in the spokes. The arm had to be amputated above the elbow.

Gray played in the Majors for only one season with the St. Louis Browns, but racked up 51 hits in 234 at-bats. He hit two triples and carried a batting average of .218. Interestingly, he only struck out 11 times all season. In 61 games in the field, he only allowed seven errors.

This Day In Baseball May 14: Babe Beats Browns

May 14, 1919 — Babe Ruth won a game on the mound and at the plate. He hit his first career grand slam as the Boston Red Sox beat the St. Louis Browns 6-4.