This World Series Lining Up Freaky Finishes

Maybe Game 5 will produce the first 40 run inning in World Series history!

Maybe Game 5 will produce the first 40 run inning in World Series history!

Honestly. Have you ever seen anything like the endings they’ve put on World Series Games 3 and 4 in St. Louis?

Game 3 was really something wild. It’s been forever since I last saw an “obstruction of the base runner” call – and I’ve never seen that call end any game, let alone, a World Series game.

Then young Mr. Wong comes along in Game 4 and gets picked off as the base runner at first with two outs in the bottom of the 9th and Carlos “Playoff Hitting Legend” Beltran coming to bat as the potential tying run for the Cardinals!


How would you have liked being rookie Kolten Wong as he returned to the Cardinal clubhouse after the game? If, indeed, he did return?

Yeah, I know. Stuff happens. But, Geez-us! You just don’t get picked off base, or make the last out any other way as a base runner to end a World Series game with a serious power threat coming to the plate as the potential tying run. That is, unless your name is Babe Ruth – and it’s Game 7 of the World Series and your Yankees are only down 3-2 to the Cardinals, but Pete Alexander just walked you because you are Babe Ruth and the potential tying run, even if it brings up one of your dangerous “Murderers’ Row” mates, Bob Meusel, to the plate as the potential game and World Series winning team batter.

What did Ruth do in that circumstance back in 1926? He got himself thrown out trying to steal second base, ending everything. The Game. The Series. The New York fan cheers. The post-season winner’s share. All was lost on an easy out Hornsby tag at the bag of a sliding slow runner.

Yankee fans were livid, but they would get over it. Babe Ruth had the kind of power and persona that made it easy for fans to forgive and forget his failings. It wasn’t too long before a large percentage of the fans seemed to have forgotten Ruth running the Yankees to the bitter end of the 1926 World Series. Instead of Ruth’s ill-considered play, Game 7 in 1926 would be remembered as the time old Grover Cleveland “Pete” Alexander came out of the pen in the bottom of the 7th to strike out Tony Lazzeri of the Yankees with the bases loaded and two outs to protect and eventually batten down the St. Louis 3-2 margin of victory.

Poor Mr. Wong. He doesn’t have the Ruthian formula for promoting mass fan amnesia. And this is the social media era, a time when people possess both the ways and means for stirring up hostile lamentation. On the right side for Wong, this also is an era in which many people suffer from short attention spans and a dedicated stand against learning much of anything from the pain of personal experience. In effect, he has a good shot at slipping through the wormhole of bad memory and. if manager Matheny’s memory is also awful, maybe even getting picked off again as a World Series pinch runner.

Wonder if a pinch runner has ever been picked off base to end two consecutive World Series games?

If not, we still get to wonder all day this Monday. – What kind of weird ending, if any, awaits us tonight in Game 5?


“Save the Astrodome. ~ Give new life to the Eighth Wonder of the World. ~ Vote Yes on Harris County Proposition 2.”

“Save the Astrodome. ~ Give new life to the Eighth Wonder of the World. ~ Vote Yes on Harris County Proposition 2.”


3 Responses to “This World Series Lining Up Freaky Finishes”

  1. bobcopusbob copus Says:

    From my understanding, the Obstruction Rule will be reviewed this offseason and if necessary, changes made. By rule, the player was obstructed, however, I don’t believe the rule was written with that intent in mind. Correct me if I am wrong. Regardless, it was an unfitting end to a great game. I would much rather have seen the game ultimately decided by the players. Thanks Bill 🙂

  2. Neal McCurdy Says:

    Getting picked off is the Wong thing to do.

  3. Sumner Hunnewell Says:

    This is, of course, the wonderful thing about baseball. Obscure rules are just a part of it. OMNI magazine once had a quiz that stated that there were nine ways for a batter to reach first base without being credited with a hit.

    After Bible study this past weekend (during which I can say many unchristian comments were hurled not only at the Red Sox but also the hallowed field known as Fenway Park), one woman (who umpires) said that she had a coach that used Billy Evans’ “Knotty Problems.” I’ve not read it (a book I don’t own!) but I remember reading about it in Specs Toporcer’s book (speaking of obscure), Baseball from Back Yard to Big League. “When the Giants were on the road, I would walk for miles all around the city, looking for semi-pro or other games. When the weather was bad, I devoured all the books I could find on baseball. One of those I remember well. It was called ‘Knotty Problem,’ and it was written by Billy Evans, an umpire! … Later, when I organized a semi-pro team, I insisted that the players attend one meeting a week to discuss Billy Evans’ book and solve the problems he gave. I would ask the questions, and each of the players would answer. This helped greatly in our learning the rules of baseball and many of its fundamental principles.”

    And to digress even more…a quote from Branch Rickey on Toporcer. “I remember the first time I saw him. He was 19 years old and he weighed 142 pounds. I saw him take off his glasses, and, with hands outstretched, grope his way along the walls to the showers.”

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