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March 31, 2000
The Daily Prospectus
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.
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.
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.)
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 email@example.com.