Monday, March 29, 2010

Snodgrass's Muff

I was listening to AM radio 670, the Score, sports talk, and either Mulley or Hanley kept bringing up some coach named Muff McGraw. I decided to look up this guy, but my phone Google search led me to a bit of baseball history I did not know anything about, Snodgrass's Muff.

Snodgrass dropped a fly ball in the 10th inning of the deciding game of the 1912 World Series, and the Boston Red Sox scored two runs to take the pennant. Snodgrass went on to become mayor of Oxnard, CA, and lived a long life, but when he died, the NY Times obituary headline read, "Fred Snodgrass, 86, Dead; Ball Player Muffed 1912 Fly." It didn't help that the 1912 World Series loss was the second of three consecutive World Series appearances and losses. They were the Buffalo Bills of the Deadball-Era, and Snodgrass the Scott Norwood.

Here's the Wikipedia article about him.

And a couple of YouTube videos.

This first one is a short clip describing Snodgrass and the muff. Pretty straightforward stuff. You don't learn anything new from the Wikipedia story.

At about the 1:54 mark on this video a narrator describes Snodgrass's Muff ("Poor Fred"), but also includes a rare interview with Snodgrass in 1963, who describes Christy Matthewson and losing a teammate who was gassed in World War I. Fascinating stuff.

I've had a budding interest in the Deadball Era of Major League Baseball ever since I read Ring Lardner's You Know Me Al last fall. It depicts, in funny misspelled words and other malapropisms. Lardner was a Chicago reporter. Most of his works are easy to read and accessible to modern tastes.

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