More Baseball Trivia! Here’s Something I’ll Bet You Didn’t Know!

More Baseball Trivia! Here’s Something I’ll Bet You Didn’t Know!

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 More Baseball Trivia! Here’s Something I’ll Bet You Didn’t Know!

We’re all baseball history fans, so we enjoy learning little bits and pieces of trivial information gleaned from the annals of the game we love. It just seems the more we focus on the game’s glorious past, the more interesting tidbits we uncover. Hey, we’re baseball fans…my wife probably thinks I’m crazy!…but at least this stuff is interesting to us!

Here’s something I stumbled upon recently I think you’ll get a kick out of…

Indeed, something very interesting happened in an insignificant game played at Sportsman Park between the Detroit Tigers and the St. Louis Browns 92 years ago this week, October 4, 1925. It was the last game of the 1925 season, and the Tigers won the game 11-7. The Browns were having one of their rare above-.500 seasons,and finished the year at 82-71, 15 games behind the pennant-winning Senators; while the Tigers finished at 81-73, 16.5 games back. The player/managers of the teams were George Sisler of the Browns and Ty Cobb of the Tigers. The game had no impact on the standings, so what make this meaningless game so interesting?

Well, how about this interesting little tidbit: In the game, both Ty Cobb and George Sisler faced off against each other as mound opponents. You read that right…they both pitched! Can you even envision Ty Cobb on the mound pitching?? I can’t either.

The “Georgia Peach” actually hurled a perfect ninth inning, while “Gorgeous George” Sisler faced only seven batters in his scoreless two innings. What’s even more noteworthy, it marked the last time both teams used a position player to pitch in relief until 2012, 87 years later!

In the featured photo below, we see the great Hall-of-Famer, George Sisler. Click on the link to see a photo tribute to Ty Cobb and George Sisler, with many of our favorite photos of two of baseball’s immortals: http://wp.me/p7a04E-3eB

And this was not the first time it happened. Believe it or not, the two future Hall-of-Famers had once before pitched against each other in another season-ending game: On September 1, 1918, the Browns beat the Tigers 6-2, with Sisler pitching one scoreless inning, and Cobb giving up a run in two innings on the mound. Sisler doubled against Cobb and scored the run.

Not much is known about Cobb’s pitching ability, although he did appear in three games over his career, with no decisions, and a 3.60 ERA. He’s even credited with a save! Not so with Sisler, an outstanding all-around athlete, who was a star pitcher in his high school and college days. Early in his career, much thought was given to his becoming a regular pitcher; but fortunately for him and for the game, he remained a hitter.

George pitched in 24 games, posting a 5-6 record, with 12 starts, nine complete games, and a very respectful 2.35 ERA. His win/loss record is deceptive because he lost one 1-0 game and two 2-0 contests. More impressive is that his five major league victories included 2-1 and 1-0 complete game victories over the great Walter Johnson, his childhood idol.

Of course, George Sisler is widely recognized as one of baseball’s greatest hitters and defensive first basemen. Over his 15-year career (1915-’30), he averaged .340, with 2812 hits, 425 doubles, 164 triples, 1178 RBIs, 102 home runs, a .379 on-base percentage, and a .468 slugging average. In his prime seasons of 1920, 1921, and 1922, he compiled averages of .407, .371, and .420, the last mark being the third highest in the 20th century. He was a two-time American League batting champion, four-time American League stolen base leader, and the 1920 MVP winner. Sisler held the all-time record for hits in a season (257 in 1920) for 84 years until broken by Ichiro Suzuki in 2004 (262). His 41-game hitting streak in 1922 is the third longest in the 20th century.

Both Ty Cobb and George Sisler were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1939, but, thank goodness, as hitters, not pitchers!

Gary Livacari

Photo Credits: All from Google search

Information: Excerpts edited from the “This Day in Baseball History” web site. 

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I'm a baseball historian who also loves to write. My forte is identifying ballplayers in old photos, and my specail interest is the Dead Ball Era.

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