Today's Featured Cub: Alvin Dark
It all started when a missed strike three got away from Cubs catcher Sammy Taylor. Taylor, thinking it was a foul ball, didn't go after the ball. The bat boy, also thinking it was a foul ball, picked it up and tossed it to field announcer Pat Pieper.
Pieper saw that the batter was running to first base, so he realized it was a live ball, and let it drop at his feet. Third baseman Alvin Dark ran over to grab it. Meanwhile, the umpire gave Sammy Taylor a new ball out of habit.
In the confusion, the runner on first base, Stan Musial, made a run for second base. Cubs pitcher Bob Anderson took the ball out of Sammy Taylor's catcher's mitt and fired it to second base at the same time that third baseman Alvin Dark threw his ball to second base. Ernie Banks was covering second and caught one of the balls heading his way, while the other ball escaped into centerfield.
Ernie tagged out Musial with one ball, while center fielder Bobby Thomson lobbed the other ball into the dugout. Thinking that "real" ball has been tossed into the dugout, Musial kept on running and scored.
The umpires had a very long discussion about this play on the field before finally ruling that Musial was out because Ernie tagged him. The Cardinals were enraged by the call on the field and lodged an official protest.
The protest wasn't necessary.
The Cardinals won the game anyway, 4-1.
Today's Featured Baseball Card: Alfonso Soriano
Alfonso Soriano was born on this day in 1976. When he signed an eight year contract with the Cubs, he was heralded as a huge signing. After all, he had a rare combination of power and speed (40 homers and 40 steals). Unfortunately, that speed left him pretty quickly after he joined the team, and it wasn't long before he heard the boo birds. In fairness he did have several good seasons with the team, and by the end of his time here, the fans were almost sad to see him go.
The stats on the back of this baseball card are from 2011: 475 at bats, 116 hits, 27 doubles, 1 triple, 26 homers, 2 stolen bases and a .244 batting average.
Nickname of the Day: Kitty
You can read Kitty's entire profile at the Baseball Biography Project here.
Cup of Coffee
Other Cubs Birthdays
He was a pitcher who eventually pitched seven years in the big leagues, but his stay in Chicago lasted only two games at the age of 23.
~Al Todd 1902 (1940-1943 Cubs)
He was 38 when he joined the Cubs, but he was the starting catcher for them in 1940.
~Doug Capilla 1952 (1979-1981 Cubs)
He was a big part of the Cubs bullpen in his seasons with the Cubs, but he had control issues.