Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Daily Sports Blurb, Anecdote or Quote 10 July 2008

We've all had bad days at work, but fortunately unlike athletes our bad days aren't recounted years later to get laughs on the banquet circuit. Here is the great Indians pitcher Mel Harder describing an opponent's tough time in the field one afternoon.

"In all the years I was in baseball - from 1928-1947 as a pitcher and 1948-1969 as a pitching coach - one of the funniest things I ever saw took place during a game at League Park in the early 1930's.

"Smead Jolley, who was a good hitter but not a real good outfielder, was playing right field for Chicago this particular day, and one of our guys hit a linerthat Jolley backed up to catch, but the ball went right through his glove for an error (#1).

"Jolley turned around to play the ball off the wall, but it caromed off the concrete part, and before Jolley could get his glove down, it went through his legs for another error (#2).

"By now the batter was heading to second with Jolley chasing the ball as it rolled toward the infield, and by the time he got to it, our guy was going to third. Jolley picked up the ball and threw to third base, but it was a wild throw and it went into the stands for another error (#3), all on one play. I swear I never saw anything like it."
Before hearing this story I had never heard of Smead Jolley. Looking up his career stats it seem Harder's memory was pretty accurate. Jolley had a career batting average of .305 in four major league seasons, but committed 44 errors in a career that only spanned 418 games.


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