The other day, while sorting through my collection; I came across two pieces that actually fit into a pretty funny story that I once read. I’ve always loved the lighter side of the game and this story certainly fits that bill.
On August 14, 1935 as the Brooklyn Dodgers were hosting the Chicago Cubs at the Polo Grounds, colorful Dodger outfielder Frenchy Bordagaray landed himself on second base. Brooklyn Manager Casey Stengel, who was coaching first base, called time-out and walked over to Frenchy.
“Now looka-here Frenchy,” said Stengel. “I want you to stand on this here bag until you see the batter actually hit the ball in play. I mean stand right on it. Don’t take a lead, don’t even move away from it six inches. Do you understand what I’m saying to you Frenchy?”
“Why certainly,” Frenchy replied.
The explicit instruction was necessary as Frenchy had a penchant for getting picked off of second base.
Moments later, Cub pitcher Larry French spun around and tossed a pickoff throw to second base. The shortstop, Billy Jurges snatched the throw and tagged Frenchy for the out.
On his way back to the dugout, Frenchy was approached by a very irritated Stengel.
“Whatsa matter with you? Weren’t you standing on the bag like I told ya? How could you get picked off?” Stengel inquired.
With a shrug, Frenchy simply said, “I haven’t the slightest idea! I did just as you told me. I stood right there on the bag, not even moving six inches off of it! I just stood there tapping my foot on the bag waiting for the hitter to bang one.”
“I see,” said Stengel. “Then how did Billy manage to put you out?” he asked.
Throwing his hands up in frustration, Frenchy said, “Beats me Boss, he must have tagged me out in between taps!”