by John Burgeson

Last week's puzzle read:

Flip O'Doul once came to bat three times in one inning -- yet his team scored no runs. He was credited with just one official time at bat. How is this possible?


With two out in the bottom of the ninth, with his team behind, Flip hit the first pitch foul into the right field stands. Before the next pitch, the ball is thrown by a drunk fan back onto the field. The shortstop properly calls time, but the pitcher throws the ball to the plate anyway; Flip hits a routine fly which is caught by the center fielder. The game is over. Or is it?

The umpire properly tells Flip's manager that time had been called and the game was still active.

On the next pitch, Flip singles. But the defensive team has only eight men on the field, as their first baseman, thinking the game was over, had gone into the locker room. So the single is null and void.

Flip bats a third time and again flies to center -- finally the game is over.

Or is it? BOTH managers protested. Flip's manager protested the call, saying that Flip's team should not be penalized for the other team's defensive error. The league president overruled the ump. Apparently the ump was "right" by the rulebook but "wrong" by the spirit of the rulebook. The OTHER manager then protested! In real life, the game was resumed with Flip getting a single. The next batter was retired so the second protest was never tested.

In the 1930s, a record was set for hits in one game, 58, as the Athletics beat the Indians 18-17. The Athletics had 25 hits, the Indians 33. Eddie Rommel relived Lew Krausse after the Tribe scored three runs early; Rommel then gave up 29 hits and 14 runs in the next 17 innings, becoming the winning pitcher. The Indians shortstop Johnny Burnett set a major league record with nine hits in a game. Cleveland pitcher Wes Ferrell pitched the last 12 innings, insisting that he lost only because the last ball hit took a bad hop.

Now for puzzle #5

Dodger Bill Sharman was once thrown out of a game. Yet he never played. (This really did happen).

How is this possible?

For the answer, see ANSWER

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