And That Happened . . . CLASSIC!

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Due to the All-Star break, we now bring you a special “Classic” version of “And That Happened.” The following originally ran on the HardballTalk pamphlet, which was mailed to subscribers. Premium subscribers received it via telegram. This installment is from the July 13, 1903 edition.

Note to our readers: The Cleveland Naps, Philadelphia Athletics, Chicago White Sox and Boston Americans did not contest base ball games on this day, as it was adjacent to The Sabbath and they wished not to engage in revelry of any sort out of an abundance of admirably pious caution.

Superbas 6, Cubs 4: Jimmy Sheckard starred for Brooklyn, acquiring three safeties. The men from Chicago may have had a better go of it, but first baseman Frank Chance and scheduled hurler Bob Wicker were suffering from an all-overish malady, rendering them mere spectators. Such ailments are increasingly common to-day, inspiring one to question the vim and vigor of the modern ball-player. Perchance the exorbitant salaries paid our sportsmen — some $11 more per season than recently re-tired greats such as staunch giants Buck Ewing and Cupid Childs — has sapped their resolve.

Reds 5, Giants 4: Noodles Hahn was pitching mightily, but Dummy Taylor was matching him frame per frame. Then, in an instant, calamity ensued! A lady of questionable morals and station burst forth from the grandstand, clad in nothing but 42-eyelet patent leather laced boots, black leather corn-husking gloves and a double-weight wool summer suit, ran toward center field and proceeded to parade herself, bloomerless, before all 1,274 spectators in attendance. Many breeches were soiled in astonishment upon the lewd display and Taylor was forced to retire to his fainting couch. When order was restored, Reds outfield Cozy Dolan plated the go-ahead run. It is unclear as of press time what happened to the woman in question, though she was escorted off the field by Giants manager John McGraw. McGraw has likewise not been seen since the incident.

Tigers 4, Highlanders 3: Heine Smith came to bat in the 8th inning with all bases occupied and the Tigers behind in the contest 3-0. Just as Jack Chesbro delivered a 2-ball, 2-strike pitch, however, the entire Highlanders club instantly dropped dead of cholera, likely brought on by the continued existence of a massive cesspool just northwest of Hilltop Park, at the corner of Fort Washington Avenue and 168th Street. The bases cleared in the confusion, resulting in a Tigers victory. The event has left Highlanders owners William Devery and Frank Farrell shaken. So much so that they are considering relocating the club to the Polo Grounds for the 1904 season. They assured the gathered press afterward, however, that the property upon which Hilltop Park sits would be safe for any purpose, save base ball games or the construction of a hospital, which would be simply irresponsible.

Beaneaters 8, Pirates 3: Boston pitcher Togie Pittinger provided nothing but cold coffee to the Pirates batsmen, offering them no more quarter than the Colombian chargé d’affaires was granted by his government upon his agreement to the Hay-Herrán Treaty. A fine how-do-you do, indeed. Yet, just as one suspects President Roosevelt will outwit the Colombians in our God-blessed endeavors to forge a great canal across the Isthmus of Darien, so too do I suspect that the men from Pittsburgh will prevail in the race for the National League Pennant.

Phillies 6, Cardinals 4: First baseman Klondike Douglass and outfielder Bill Kiester were the heroes for Philadelphia, each causing two runs to be scored. Bill Duggleby kept the batsmen from St. Louis in line. Following the completion of the contest, Homer Smoot, the Cardinals outfielder, suggested that he and his teammates were at a disadvantage by virtue of their having to spend the previous evening greasing the wheels of streetcars operated by Frank and Stanley Robinson, the owners of the Cardinals. He further suggested that, if Congress could see fit to establish a reasonable work week — perhaps, 100-140 hours — their play would be crisper and more competitive. The Robinsons, when reached for comment, decried Smoot’s sloth and suggested that if their players were granted breaks from their labors, the very foundation of Our Republic would be imperiled. Or, worse, trade unions may form.

Senators 4, Browns 2: A scant 11 days ago, Washington slugger Ed Delahanty, while traveling from Detroit to New York in a quixotic attempt to abandon his fellow Senators and join the Giants, drank five whiskeys, brandished a straight razor and was kicked off his train near Buffalo. He was last seen alive walking across the International Railway Bridge. He was last seen at all 20 miles downstream, dead, naked and battered at the bottom of Niagara Falls. I realize I am sometimes known to provide some embellishment in these accounts of the previous day’s games, my dear readers, but of this I speak only the truth.

In any event, Delahanty’s absence was not felt by his mates on this day, as first baseman Kip Selbach tripled in two of his fellow mourning teammates to defeat St. Louis’ Jack Powell. Following the victory, Selbach, in a touching tribute to the fallen Delahanty, drank six whiskeys, brandished a shillelagh and plunged off of the 11th street bridge into the Anacostia River. He was pulled out, quite alive, by a naval patrol. Selbach never was the man Delahanty was and could not match his accomplishments in most pursuits. This, apparently, proved to be no different.

*I would like to thank and acknowledge The Onion’s “Our Dumb Century” as inspiration for this post. Specifically for help with the description of the streaker’s clothes in the Reds-Giants recap. I’m not very imaginative with that kind of thing. Anyway, if you have never read “Our Dumb Century,” please do. It’ll help you understand the 20th Century better than most of the history books you’ve read. 

Nationals GM Rizzo won’t reveal length of Martinez’s new contract

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WASHINGTON — Dave Martinez spoke Saturday about managing the Washington Nationals for “many, many years” and over the “long term” and “quite some time,” thanks to his contract extension.

Sharing a table to a socially distanced degree with his manager on a video conference call to announce the new deal – each member of the duo sporting a 2019 World Series ring on his right hand – Nationals GM Mike Rizzo referred to the agreement’s “multiyear” nature, but repeatedly refused to reveal anything more specific in response to reporters’ questions.

“We don’t talk about terms as far as years, length and salaries and that type of thing. We’re comfortable with what we have and the consistency that we’re going to have down the road,” said Rizzo, who recently agreed to a three-year extension of his own. “That’s all we want to say about terms, because it’s private information and we don’t want you guys to know about it.”

When Martinez initially was hired by Rizzo in October 2017 – his first managing job at any level – the Nationals’ news release at the time announced that he was given a three-year contract with an option for a fourth year.

That 2021 option had not yet been picked up.

“The partnership that Davey and I have together, our communication styles are very similar. Our aspirations are similar, and kind of our mindset of how to obtain the goals that we want to obtain are similar. I think it’s a good match,” Rizzo said. “We couldn’t have hit on a more positive and enthusiastic leader in the clubhouse. I think you see it shine through even in the most trying times.”

The Nationals entered Saturday – Martinez’s 56th birthday – with a 23-34 record and in last place in the NL East, which Rizzo called “a disappointing season.” The team’s title defense was slowed by injuries and inconsistency during a 60-game season delayed and shortened by the coronavirus pandemic.

World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg threw just five innings because of a nerve issue in his pitching hand and players such as Starlin Castro, Sean Doolittle, Tanner Rainey, Adam Eaton and Carter Kieboom finished the year on the IL.

“This year, for me, we didn’t get it done. We had a lot of bumps in the road this year. But I really, fully believe, we’ve got the core guys here that we need to win another championship,” Martinez said. “I know Mike, myself, we’re going to spend hours and hours and hours trying to fill the void with guys we think can potentially help us in the future. And we’ll be back on the podium. I’m really confident about that.”

Rizzo was asked Saturday why the team announces contract lengths for players, as is common practice around the major leagues, but wouldn’t do so in this instance for Martinez.

“The reason is we don’t want anybody to know. That’s the reason,” Rizzo said, before asking the reporter: “How much do you make? How many years do you have?”

Moments later, as the back-and-forth continued, Rizzo said: “It’s kind of an individual thing with certain people. I don’t want you to know what I make or how many years I have. Davey doesn’t want you to know. And I think that it’s only fair … when people don’t want certain information out there, that we don’t give it.”

There were some calling for Martinez to lose his job last season when Washington got off to a 19-31 start. But Rizzo stood by his manager, and the team eventually turned things around, going 74-38 the rest of the way to reach the playoffs as an NL wild-card team.

The Nationals then beat the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals to reach the World Series, where they beat the Houston Astros in Game 7.

Washington joined the 1914 Boston Braves as the only teams in major league history to win a World Series after being 12 games below .500 during a season.

“Everything from Day 1 to where he’s gotten to now, he’s grown so much. He’s really become one of my favorite managers of all,” three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer said after helping Washington win Saturday’s opener of a doubleheader against the New York Mets. “Davey really understands how to manage a clubhouse, manage a team. We saw it in the postseason. He knows how to push the right buttons when everything is on the line.”