Last week I was watching one of the quarterfinals episodes of Baseball IQ that had aired on MLB Network. (If you missed it, this show pitted a representative of each MLB team plus one from MLB.com and the Hall of Fame in a single elimination trivia tournament that raised money for each team’s charity.) Rather than just a question/answer format, the show required that each of the two contestants populate lists based on a statistical prompt from the host, e.g. “name the all-time National League home run leaders with at least 300 home runs”. The contestants then alternated giving an answer until one of them supplied an incorrect response.
During the matchup between representatives of the D-Backs and Rockies, one of the categories prompted the contestants to name the pitchers who had at least 8 postseason wins. As an intro to the category, they played a video of Bob Gibson – who finished his career with 7 postseason wins – striking out George Scott of the Red Sox to end game 7 of the 1967 World Series. Included in the video was the ensuing celebration of the newly world champion St. Louis Cardinals. Check it out here.
Did you see what happened at about the 4:31 mark? No, your eyes are not deceiving you. That was the third base umpire running up to the Cardinals mob and taking the hat right off the head of one of the celebrating Cardinals players. It also appears that he had a hat in his hand before nabbing the second. According to the baseball-reference account of this game, the third base umpire for this game was Augie Donatelli.
Augie passed away in 1990 and is credited with starting the Major League Umpires Association and was known for his quick and dramatic trigger when it came to ejecting players and coaches. Based on this video, it appears he should have also been known for confiscating portions of uniforms from players celebrating on the field. What would an umpire do with two Cardinals hats? How did he get the first one? What did he do with them after the fact – sell them, eat dinner out of them?
Sadly, I am not writing to proclaim that I have solved this mystery. Instead, I am hoping that some aspiring baseball historian will make it their life’s goal to figure out why Donatelli took the hats and what became of them. This LA Times article from 1987 is the only info I could find – Donatelli claims the hats were “falling off”. Sounds fishy to me. This post is proof that the nwe baseball season cannot come fast enough.
We followed up our visit to New York with a trip to the home of the defending World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies. Yes, I do still harbor some hard feelings from last October when they ended the Dodgers’ playoff run, but we had to visit Citizens Bank Park since we were so close. I now harbor some more hard feelings toward them since we experienced another ridiculous rain delay on Saturday, June 13, as they took on the Red Sox.
This was another “premium” game so we found ourselves scouring Stubhub for tickets once again. The seats we ended up with were not bad – second row of the upper deck in right field. However, we only stayed there for the top of the first inning. It started pouring in the middle of the inning, which came about 40 minutes after the first pitch as the Red Sox pushed five runs across before the Phillies came to bat.
We retreated to the concourse with everyone else that didn’t have a seat under an overhang. We eventually found our way over to the Guest Services window and waited there for updates on the weather forecast. Our perseverance was rewarded when we were upgraded to some handicap companion seats on the field level in the center field concourse. By the time the game started up again, we were left with only enough time to stay until the 5th inning. This trip forced me to break my baseball purist rule of never leaving a game early a few times – stupid rain! That’s what happens when you have a two-year old in tow and a two-hour drive ahead of you.
Typically, the visiting fans are outnumbered and therefore cannot be heard over the home town fans. Not so with “the Nation”. Allegiance was split nearly 50-50 between Phillies and Red Sox with a slight edge going to the Phillies. Fortunately for the Red Sox faithful, there was much to cheer about as the Sox smoked the Phils 11-6. Once again, many beer-fueled arguments led to several fans being ejected and that was just that we could see from our seats.
Our family highlight was probably the Phillie Phanatic racing across the outfield before the game on his ATV. Chiquita made sure we saw him on his “truck” each time he zoomed across the field to steal some sound equipment or make fun of Dustin Pedroia’s small stature. We had to buy that $6 bowl of ice cream so we could get the souvenir bowl that it came in to commemorate Chiquita’s love for this famous mascot.
This is one of the many new parks that includes a play area for the kids. Chiquita loves playgrounds and this one did not disappoint her. We did not try the ballpark food (other than the aforementioned ice cream) because we stopped at Geno’s in south Philly to grab some cheese steaks before the game. Apparently the authentic sandwiches are made with Cheez Whiz, but we opted for the provolone. Still delicious.
We were in Philadelphia just long enough to see the Liberty Bell and catch the rainy game, but we had a great time at this stop.
Here are the pictures from this leg of the journey…
We saw this license plate frame recently on a car that was being towed. Maybe the car just suddenly refused to drive anymore out of pure confusion. We ourselves are somewhat displaced fans, but this is just too ironic.