Moments in the Sun

Baseball’s Briefly Famous


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About the Book

Baseball’s ranks are filled with those whose careers may not have been as spectacular as Ruth or Mays but who played essential roles in the game’s history, like footnotes in a great book. Some were well known in their day, featured on the front of the sports section; others were lesser lights whose feats and misdeeds were so notable they deserve to be remembered.
Bert Shepard pitched a game for the Washington Senators in 1945 despite being shot down over Germany the year before and losing a leg. Bernie Carbo hit a dramatic three-run homer in the eighth inning to tie Game Six of the 1975 World Series—but his blast was completely upstaged an hour or so later by Red Sox teammate Carlton Fisk’s unforgettable shot down the left field line. Bo Belinsky no-hit the powerful Baltimore Orioles in 1962, but he finished his career with a monumentally disappointing 28–51 record. The 39 other subjects profiled in this work prove that, in baseball, fame can be fleeting.

About the Author(s)

Award winning journalist Mark McGuire, a member of SABR, has written for Baseball Digest, Baseball America and USA Today Baseball Weekly. He is the television and radio reporter for the Times Union in Albany, New York, and lives in nearby Delmar. SABR member
Michael Sean Gormley, a writer for the Associated Press in Albany, New York, has received over 30 newspaper awards, including a share in the 1992 Associated Press Sports Editors Award. He lives in Ballston Spa, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Mark McGuire and Michael Sean Gormley
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 247
Bibliographic Info: photos, index
Copyright Date: 1999
pISBN: 978-0-7864-0549-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0229-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

Introduction      1

The Rookies

The One-Legged Wonder: Bert Shepard      7

His Greatest One-Night Stand: Bo Belinsky      14

A Walk to Glory: Eddie Gaedel      19

Super Joe: Joe Charboneau      26

Bobo the Clown: Bobo Holloman      31

The Hurricane of 1957: Bob Hazle      35

One of the Boys: Carl Scheib      39

The Cleveland Indian: Louis Sockalexis      43

The Bird: Mark Fidrych      50

The One-Armed Bandit: Pete Gray      54

In the Bushes

Bresnahan’s Tater: Dave Bresnahan      61

The Home Run King: Joe Bauman      69

One Long Night: Odell “Red” Barbary      73

The Can’t-Miss Kid Who Did: Ron Necciai      77

The Mightiest Mite: Gene Rye      82

Moments in the Sun

Designated for Greatness: Ron Blomberg      89

Fame After the Fact Through Fiction: Archibald “Moonlight” Graham      96

The Actual Natural: Eddie Waitkus      101

Black in Blue: Emmett Ashford      108

Beauty and the Bribe: Jimmy O’Connell      114

Art the Great: Art Shires      119

The Utility Man Who Turned on the Power: Mike Benjamin      124

The Original Replacement Players: The May 18, 1912, Tigers      126

An Agent of Change: Danny Gardella      131

The Women in Blue: Amanda Clement, Bernice Gera, and Pam Postema      137

The Man Killed by a Baseball: Ray Chapman      144

Forgotten on Father’s Day: Alexander Cartwright      152

Spotlight on the Series

The Hero Was a Bum: Cookie Lavagetto and Bill Bevens      161

The $30,000 Muff That Wasn’t: Fred Snodgrass      167

A Shining Sub: Nippy Jones      172

The Cave City Clouter (?): Brian Doyle      176

A Platoon That Won the War: Al Weis      182

Simply the Simplest Greatest Play: Bill “Wamby” Wambsganss      189

A Perfect Day: Don Larsen      193

Losing Control: Steve Blass      201

Momentarily Momentous: Bernie Carbo      207

Around the Horn

The Night Bad Music Died: Disco Demolition Night      215

Black Magic: The Black Cat of Flushing      219

Shorts Cut Short: The 1976 Chicago White Sox Uniforms      222

Carted on the Field: Bullpen Cars      224

It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Bugs: Colt Stadium      226

Seasons in the Sun: Wahconah Park      229

Index      233

Book Reviews & Awards

“a look back at some of the game’s one-shot wonders”—USA Today Sports Weekly; “more than 40 moments recounted”—Sports Collectors Digest; “entertaining…. Fans will enjoy”—Booklist; “will bring back memories and create new ones”—The SABR Bulletin; “tells the stories of baseball’s more memorable flashes in the pan”—Albany Times Union; “highly recommended and informative”—Midwest Book Review; “marks a milestone…ground their understanding of the ‘briefly famous’ in a lived experience”—Public Library Quarterly.