10th Inside-The-Park HR in World Series History

Patsy Dougherty of the Boston AL club hit the 2nd inside-the-park HR in Game 2 of the first 1903 World Series. It also was the first one to lead off a World Series game until Alcides Escobar led off Game 1 of the 2015 World Series in the same way.

Patsy Dougherty of the Boston AL club hit the 2nd inside-the-park series HR in Game 2 of the first 1903 World Series. It also was the first one to lead off a World Series game until Alcides Escobar led off Game 1 of the 2015 World Series in the same way.

It had not happened since 1929, but Alcides Escobar of the Kansas City Royals took care of that little drought in the always changing style and history of baseball by hammering a carom shot off the left field that then took a pool table bounce off the left leg of New York Mets center fielder Yoenis Cespedes, leaving the area on a straight and fast roll into the abandoned left field corner due to the presence of left fielder Michael Contorto being now in the company of Cespedes as both pursued the ball in the area of left center from which the latter’s inadvertent kicking assistance effectively made the ball unplayable. The speedy Escobar rounded the bases swiftly and standing up as the list of men who have done this now very rare feat in the World series increases to only ten (10) in total numbers.

INSIDE-THE-PARK HR IN WORLD SERIES HISTORY (1903-2015)

Date Gm # Player Team Opponent
October 1, 1903 1 Jimmy Sebring Pittsburgh Pirates Boston Americans
October 2, 1903 2 Patsy Dougherty Boston Americans Pittsburgh Pirates
October 13, 1915 5 Duffy Lewis Boston Red Sox Philadelphia Phillies
October 9, 1916 2 Hy Myers Brooklyn Robins Boston Red Sox
October 11, 1916 4 Larry Gardner Boston Red Sox Brooklyn Robins
October 10, 1923 1 Casey Stengel New York Giants New York Yankees
October 3, 1926 2 Tommy Thevenow St. Louis Cardinals New York Yankees
October 7, 1928 3 Lou Gehrig New York Yankees St. Louis Cardinals
October 12, 1929 4 Mule Haas Philadelphia Athletics Chicago Cubs
October 27, 2015 1 Alcides Escobar Kansas City Royals New York Mets

Some things are easy and worthy of note:

  1. 50% of the 10 World Series inside-the-park homers happened in the dead ball era, between 1903 and 1916, when many of the few homers in general happened when ball got passed fielders in those parks that had fences some 500 feet from home. Not sure of the circumstances on these specific homers, but distant fences and balls that cleanly escaped for good rolls beyond the outfielders is the “usual suspect” in these cases.
  2. Were these type homers unusual back in those days? Well, homers were unusual, but the fact that many of those that did happen were of the rolling too far away to be playable type, my best answer tonight is “probably not so much”. I don’t have the stats on hand to support that assumption.
  3. The fact that two of these “insiders” occurred, one each, in the first two games of the first 1903 World Series speaks in support of their fairly more common occurrence in that early era and baseball culture.
  4. Casey Stengel of the 1923 New York Giants and Lou Gehrig of the 1928 New York Yankees are undoubtedly the two most famous names on this record list. Stengel’s 1923 inside-the-park job against the Yankees at Yankee stadium is loaded with irony and venue coincidence. His running homer also was the first HR of any kind to be struck in a World Series at the new original Yankee stadium during its first year of operation.
  5. 90% of all the World Series inside-the-park homers were in the record can by 1929. Tonight’s 10%er by Escobar is 86 years late to the celebration group table.
  6. In baseball, it’s wise to remember a couple of things beyond, but including Yogi’s “it ain’t over til it’s over”: (a) Never buy into the idea that’s you seen it all; and (b) Never say that anything rare you know about in baseball can never happen again. Patsy Dougherty got his inside-the-park World Series at lead off Game 2 of the very first 1903 Boston-Pittsburgh match. It only took Patsy Dougherty one day to follow Jimmy Sebring of Pittsburgh, who got the first “insider” during the first World series Game ever.  It then took 112 years for Alcides Escobar to repeat that even rarer feat tonight of getting an inside-the-park homer to lead off a World Series game.
Patsy Dougherty (L) did it first in 1903. Alcides Escobar did it second in 2015. - Both are the only men to lead off a World Series game by hitting an inside-the-park HR.

Patsy Dougherty (L) did it first in 1903. Alcides Escobar did it second in 2015. – Both are the only men to lead off a World Series game by hitting an inside-the-park home run. Eight others also have hit “insiders” in the World Series, but not as the lead off batter in their games.

How wonderful this game is, no matter who wins. Leave it to baseball to bring us the refreshment of the unexpected event.

Out of curiosity, one has to wonder. If someone had wanted to put $100 of “mad money” down in Vegas that the first batter in the 2015 World Series was going to hit an inside-the-park home run tonight, we wonder what the odds and payoff might have been?

_______________

eagle-0range

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5 Responses to “10th Inside-The-Park HR in World Series History”

  1. Rick B. Says:

    I want to know if Fox can spare us the Cialis commercials so that I don’t yet have to explain to my 7-year old what erectile dysfunction is. My copout-yet-true answer of the evening = it’s when a guy can’t keep his bat up, so he needs this medicine to help him hit a home run.

  2. Mark W Says:

    Rick, that’s really a clever explanation. But there is room to wonder how it will play when he repeats this explanation to his pals or his pals’ big brothers, or his teachers at school. You might want to stick with something like, “It’s for circulation problems, to help blood flow better.”

    • Rick B. Says:

      My fear is that he’ll get the real story from one of his friends that learned the truth from a big brother (or father). Money rules; therefore, kids have no chance to remain innocent beyond the age of two anymore.

      • Rick B. Says:

        All of which means that I need to discuss this with him before school (which may be better than right before bedtime)

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