The story about the fan in St. Louis being grazed with a stray bullet reminded one of our commenters, and in turn, reminded me, about a crazy thing that happened at a ballgame back in 1950. The game: Brooklyn Dodgers vs. the New York Giants. The place: the Polo Grounds. The crazy thing: a fan was shot and killed while sitting in his seat during the game. The shot came from the roof of one of those apartment buildings to the third base side of the stadium in the picture above.
The entire story of it, complete with photos and stuff, was recapped by David Pincus at Sports Illustrated three years ago. Read it all here. The craziest part about it all? The game went on. And the fans didn’t even seem to care. Not even the 13-year-old boy who went to the game with the victim:
“Standees fought over Doyle’s empty seat as medics carried the dead man away,” reported the New York Daily News. Even Flaig, Doyle’s compatriot, seemed more upset that the incident caused him to miss the game than that his neighbor had been killed before his eyes.
“Young Otto himself complained that the detectives’ questions were making him miss the ballfield action,” the Daily News story continued. “‘I’ve been dreaming about this game for a month,” he grumbled.'”
We’re often accused of being a coarser, less caring society today than we were back then, but can you imagine if that happened today? The game would certainly be stopped. A national conversation would ensue. The people who flocked to the dead man’s seat would be castigated as monsters. It would dominate the news for days. In the 1950s? Eh, just a thing that happened, man.
Like I said. Crazy.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.
The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.
Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.
We wait see.
The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.
That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.
Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.