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Three Men on Thirdby H. Allen Smith
Synopses & Reviews
An excerpt from Three Men on Third
The predicament of having three base runners ganged up on third is associated with the Dodgers, though it is not an attainment that belongs to them exclusively. The day that Brooklyn accumulated three runners on third was August 15, 1926, when the Dodgers were engaging the Braves at Ebbets Field. In case you don't remember it, here are the details:
Brooklyn came to bat in the seventh. Johnny Butler singled. DeBerry hit a two-bagger, scoring Butler. Dazzy Vance singled and DeBerry went to third. Fewster was hit by the pitcher, filling the bases. Jacobson popped out. Babe Herman now took his place at the plate. The stage was all set for the drama. Herman belted a line drive to right field and DeBerry vacated third base and crossed the plate. Vance, who had been on second, thought Herman's drive was going to be caught, and held up until he was certain the outfielder had missed it; then Dazzy started for home. He rounded third, ran halfway to the plate, decided he wouldn't be able to beat the throw-in, reversed himself and started back to third. Meanwhile Fewster was tearing around the base paths from first, arriving at the third sack about the time Vance resumed to it. They stood and looked at each other in astonishment for a few moments and then switched their attention to an even more astonishing sight. Babe Herman figured he had a double, possibly a triple, and he preferred a triple of course, and was bent upon trying to stretch it. He had his head down and was running for all he was worth, with no suspicion in his mind that a traffic jam had already developed at third. He didn't raise his head until he was a few feet from third and then when he looked up, there stood Vance and Fewster, and the Boston third baseman was just taking the throw. This third baseman, Taylor, was understandably excited. He received the throw and started tagging people. He tagged every human within reach, including the third-base umpire. Herman, however, had got himself out of range and was heading back for second. Taylor fired the ball down to the shortstop, and Herman was tagged out before he could reach the bag.
That episode became a sort of baseball classic, possibly because t
Hilarious tales of oddities and eccentrics on the baseball diamond. (Covers 1915-1950).
Originally published in 1951, "Three Men on Third" captures a lost age in America--when baseball was truly part and parcel of the national character, before it became big business, before TV forever changed the way we see things. Whimsical line drawings by Leo Hershfield illuminate the text.
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