His excuse, recounted in a vintage ESPN article, is precious in its implausibility. Hatcher relied on an excuse that will become familiar as we continue with our list of suspects. Indians pitcher Jason Grimsley later admitted to the foul play, and Cleveland returned the bat in question to the umpires in hopes of avoiding more dire consequences from the league. Old Timer's Day 2008 Yankee Stadium - Graig Nettles. To his credit, Guerrero did not rely on fantastical tales and instead offered a straight story about what happened. “There’s no brand name on it or anything. Since we are leaving PEDs out of this discussion, we focus on Sammy’s bat corking incident in 2003, the year his life took a dark turn. Though he had already belted a home run in that game, only Nettles’s single was stricken from the the record books. http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/robbie-clark/baseball-on-this-date?refid=stpr, Keywords: mlb, baseball, history, sports, new york yankees, detroit tigers, corked bats, cheaters. Player FM is scanning the web for high-quality podcasts for you to enjoy right now. Cincinnati’s Chris Sabo had his own run-in with MLB officials in 1996, the last season of his nine-year pro career. Until further notice, players like Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez, and Barry Bonds will not get inside the MLB Hall of Fame unless they buy a ticket. Then, there was the time Belle didn’t like the fact that Fernando Vina was standing between him and second base. In '61, Cash led the AL in batting with a .361 average, hit 41 homers and drove in 132 runs. This feed was archived on January 07, 2019 02:34 (2y ago). MLB Withdraws Plans to Contract the Twins and Expos (2002). We’re in New York, at Shea Stadium, where the temporarily homeless Yankees are playing their home games while Yankee Stadium is being renovated. “I’ve had it for about two or three months,” he said. Living the dream requires sacrifice. Here’s a look at seven of the great cheaters who plied their trade at the plate over the years. It's over, I've paid my fine, I've gotten my suspension, now I think I have to get over that stuff.". Though he had already belted a home run in that game, only Nettles’s single was stricken from the the record books. Umpires saw the foreign substance inside and sent Sabo packing. In our series on MLB’s greatest cheaters (excluding those who used PEDs), we turn to the hitters who stuffed their bats in outlandish schemes or otherwise played unfair in ways that warranted suspensions, fines, and a firm place in MLB notoriety. Facing Mike Hampton of the Astros, Sabo broke at least one bat before a large chunk of the barrel went flying onto the field at Riverfront Stadium. After retiring in 1984, Royals star Amos Otis, a five-time All-Star who hit 193 career home runs, admitted that he used a funky bat much of his career. “You better get somebody over here, because if I find one of them, I’ll kill them,” Belle reportedly told a 911 operator one Halloween after his house was egged. Baseball was good to Sammy Sosa, and the Cubs slugger tried everything he could to deliver results that would please the gods. Maybe the guy made it himself. “I was out of bats, so I borrowed a pitcher’s bat,” he told reporters at the time. Depending on how you see it, Albert Belle was either one of the truly colorful figures of 1990s baseball or a legitimate menace to society. "I have paid for my mistake. Nettles broke a bat hitting a single and six super balls came flying out of the barrel, which the Tigers catcher collected from the field. He told the Mobile Press the induction marked the third such hall he joined to date in his career. Today’s matchup is a doubleheader against Detroit in which Yankees third baseman Graig Nettles will hit two home runs on the day, one of which is the game-winner in the second game of today’s contests. In what may or not be a coincidence, Hatcher posted a .297 batting average — the best of his career — that year for the Astros. They may not have stuck themselves with syringes, mind you, but there are some epic figures known for their spitballs and mud pies, their corked bats and sharpened cleats. The Associated Press account is familiar enough. By his own account, Tigers first baseman Norm Cash used a corked bat during the 1961 season, a breakout year he never came close to duplicating. He did not take the Otis good-guy approach. Sports Cheat Sheet is bringing back MLB’s biggest cheaters on the mound, at the plate, on the bases, and on the sidelines in a series chronicling the game’s illustrious history of trickery. He added that corking was common at the time, though only a few players got caught. According to wild contemporary reports, one of Belle’s Indians teammates crawled 30 feet through stadium ductwork connecting the clubhouse to the umpire’s room and replaced the bat with a Paul Sorrento model. Amos Otis did for batters what Preacher Roe and Gaylord Perry did for pitchers, in that he was refreshingly open about his foul play with bats after retiring in 1984. How did that happen? The list of punishments handed down since 1970: Information from ESPN Research was used in this report. Otis never found himself in the commissioner’s crosshairs for his experiments with corked bats. In a contest against the Cubs in ’87 — a horrible year for cheaters — Hatcher had a curious episode of cork flying out of a bat he broke swinging at a pitch. Facebook: https://facebook.com/BOTDpodcast, Rate, Review, and Subscribe on iTunes! It’s a mistake. © Copyright 2020 Endgame360 Inc. All Rights Reserved. Before that went down, Sosa was in the middle of an embarrassing incident at Wrigley Field on June 4 against Tampa Bay. Umpires confiscated the bat and ejected Sosa, who ended up serving a seven-game suspension. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/baseball-on-this-date/id1139821561?mt=2, Subscribe on Overcast! White Sox catcher Miguel Olivo was suspended for six games in 2001 from the Double-A Birmingham Barons for a corked bat. Listen to Graig Nettles And The Superball Bat (1974) and sixty-three more episodes by Baseball On This Date, free! When? My Audi Commercial With Graig Nettles # 1 by smallvillejedi. “I’m in the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame, and I’m also in the hall of shame. Your subscriptions, bookmarks & playlists will sync across web and mobile apps. Wilton Guerrero said he had never used a corked bat before he got caught one fateful day in 1997, and by the looks of his amateurish actions, that story passes the scrutiny test. The next time up, he hit a broken-bat single. The bat never made it. What were the other two? That curious behavior made umpires suspicious, and sure enough they found bits of cork bulging from the barrel. The umps stored the suspicious lumber in a locker and planned to send it to the league office for examination after the game. 0:31 . It was neither the first nor the last time Belle would be disciplined by MLB officials. “It’s a no-brainer,” Montague said after the game. Then, there are the rest; those who doctored balls and corked bats in semi-obscurity, all the while hoping to simply survive on the big-league level. As with many instances of cheaters on this list, Nettles claimed that the bat came to him under strange circumstances — specifically, in Chicago, where it was the gift of a local Yankees fan as the team made its Midwest swing that summer. Instead, Sosa said he “grabbed the wrong bat,” according to ESPN, and that the one in question was a highlight-reel bat reserved for wowing the Wrigley faithful before the game. Today is September 7, 2016. I don’t know whose bat it was.” Umpires did not care whose bat it happened to be and, seeing that Hatcher was the one using it, ejected him from the game. "I didn't know there was anything wrong with the bat," Nettles said after the game. According to reports, Guerrero broke the corked special on an infield grounder. Rule 6.06, Section D: "A batter is out for illegal action when ... he uses or attempts to use a bat that, in the umpire's judgment, has been altered or tampered with ... No advancement on the bases will be allowed and any out or outs made during a play shall stand.". For that, we believe he deserves a cheater’s good sportsmanship award (if such a thing exists) for coming clean on his own accord. By year’s end, he was on a list that included David Ortiz and many other players whose names trickled out from the first round of PED “survey” testing. What now? This series will no longer be checked for updates. Nettles broke a bat hitting a single and six super balls came flying out of the barrel, which the Tigers catcher collected from the field. But this tale merely involves cheating. After he retired, he demonstrated for Sports Illustrated how he doctored his bat by drilling an eight-inch hole in the barrel, filling it with glue, cork and sawdust. Instead of running down the first base line — where runners go in baseball — Guerrero scrambled after the pieces of bat that went flying in another direction. That’s when you cheat in the big leagues,” Otis said at the time. “The bat broke and cork flew out.” Sabo’s day was done, and his career followed suit at the end of the season. Tigers catcher Bill Freehan scrambled for the six superballs that came bouncing out. "I had a very close friend who made the bats for me. https://overcast.fm/itunes1139821561/baseball-on-this-date, Subscribe on Stitcher! Fans of baseball in the 1980s remember Billy Hatcher for his play on the Astros and Cincinnati teams of the era. Well, maybe the only way to see it is this: Belle was an absolute terror both on and off the field, and at one point the slugger was ordered to undergo counseling by the American League President. If you believe this to be in error, please check if the publisher's feed link below is valid and contact support to request the feed be restored or if you have any other concerns about this. “It’s something that I take the blame for. “Some Yankees fan in Chicago gave it to me and said it would bring me good luck,” Nettles told reporters. “It was definitely a break-in,” umpire Dave Phillips told the Chicago Tribune at the time, while new commish Bud Selig vowed the league would get to the bottom of the matter. He had not gone deep in over a month that included stints on the disabled list and general slumping after connecting for his 500th home run earlier in the season. Major League Baseball fans unanimously frown upon those who took steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) to gain a competitive edge. He'd drill a hole down the barrel and stuff some superballs and cork in it. Regretfully, we can only call out those who got caught. - YouTube Start listening to #Baseball on this Date on your phone right now with Player FM's free mobile app. We prefer not to speculate. (Trick or treat!) Umpire Tom Hallion, who was working home plate for the game, went down the third-base line and got the suspicious lumber. Why? The bat looked brand new. I wasn't the first one and I probably won't be the last one. It had been in the bat rack, and I picked it up by mistake, because it looked like the bat I had been using the last few days.”. “I use that bat for batting practice,” he said. On the other hand, visitors visiting the hallowed halls of Cooperstown pass the shrines of notorious cheaters of baseball’s past. Corked bat Graig Nettles, Yankees Sept. 7, 1974-x No suspension Super balls in bat x-On Sept. 7, 1974, the Yankees' Graig Nettles hit a home run against the Detroit Tigers.

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