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March 31, 2000

The Daily Prospectus

Old Business

by Joe Sheehan

Over the past couple of weeks--the long and storied life of the daily column--I've made a couple of references to baseball games of long, and not-so-long, ago. I've been lucky to get additional information on both the games mentioned here, and luckier still to not have to look it up myself.

First, there was the mythical "Art Shamsky" game, the one my newfound Las Vegas friend told me about in which he hit three home runs. Reader Thomas White sent in the following:

Following up your column mention of Art Shamsky, that fan's memory is
correct. Shamsky played from 1965-67 with the Reds. On August 12, 1966, at
home at Crosley Field, Shamsky hit three homers in three consecutive
at-bats. The game went 13 innings. I don't have more details available, but
it's possible he hit a game-ender.

Finish the Team of the 1990s already!

I'll admit that far too much time spent with my uncles as a youth--the things people will tell a child!--had me quite skeptical of that story, so thanks, Thomas, for tracking it down.

(The rest of the Team of the 1990s is on its way, too.)

More recently, I talked about listening to the tail end of a Phillies game at five o'clock in the morning. It appears I wasn't the only one, as Alex Marchione writes:

The Phillies/Padres twi-nighter which you mentioned in today's column was
Friday/Saturday, July 3-4 (I think), 1993, in Philadelphia. The first game
ended about 1 a.m. after two or three long rain delays.

As I recall, the Padres took a 5-0 lead in the second game against the immortal Jose DeLeon, but the Phillies came back against Andy Benes. Ricky Jordan hit a three-run homer in the fifth(?) to make it 5-4, Darren Daulton had an RBI single to tie it in the bottom of the eighth. Mitch Williams held the Padres scoreless in the ninth and the tenth. As I recall, in the bottom of the tenth, the game-winning rally had a (rare) Pete Incaviglia walk, a Jim Eisenreich single, a Darren Daulton strikeout and a Wild Thing game-winning gapper to left-center.

The game-winning hit ended the double bill at 4:42 a.m., by my bedside clock-radio. The youthful ardor of my fandom, as well as not having school the next day, kept me awake for the whole thing.

Now, that's the memory of a fan! BP's resident Phillies expert, Jeff Hildebrand, also chimed in:

Yup, you were remembering right. I had a similiar experience to yours,
hearing that they were still playing and then picking up the station. (Yes,
you can sometimes get the relevant Philadelphia station in Wisconsin.)

That particular game has gone down in Phillies lore as the classic example of how bizarre that whole 1993 season was. Last year when the team put out a "Greatest Moments of the Century" video, they devoted some time to that game, including shots of the scoreboard reading, "The second game will start at 1:25 am," players fighting to stay awake in the dugout and the end of the game with Mitch Williams (of all people) singling in the winning run. Probably the only time I ever really enjoyed having Mitch Williams on the team.

The Mitch Williams RBI single has to be one of the stranger endings you'll find, which is perfectly appropriate for a game that ended as the sun was coming up over Veterans Stadium.

If there's something I'll take from this, it's a sense of how unifying baseball is. What I thought was a random, and somewhat unique, memory of a long-lost game was experienced in almost exactly the same fashion by two other fans hundreds of miles away, right down to finding the game on a distant radio station.

It's just another reason to love the game.

Joe Sheehan can be reached at jsheehan@baseballprospectus.com.

Joe Sheehan is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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