Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Batman Goes to Camp

While searching for information on the dreadful Phillies squads of 1928 and1941, I uncovered a funny little anecdote pertaining to the 1915 campaign. The Phillies had finished sixth the previous year and weren't expected to do much that season. Behind the strong pitching of Pete Alexander and Erskine Mayer, who won 52 games between them, the Phils silenced their detractors by finishing 7 games ahead of the Braves and earning their first World Series  appearance (it would be their last until 1950).

During spring training that year, a peculiar man showed up without invitation toting a bizarre array of missahpen bats. He enthusiastically explained the purpose of each. One was for curveballs and another for spitters. He also had line drive and sacrifice fly bats in his collection. Asked by Manager Pat Moran to hit against staff ace Pete Alexander, the man failed to make contact with a single pitch. He was summarily dismissed, but before making an exit, he vowed to design a bat specifically for use against the great Alexander.

Though this story is likely apocryphal, it's more fun to believe it might be true.

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