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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Free Swinger

Introduction: I bought a book at Barnes and Nobles yesterday called "The BIG BOOK of Baseball Brainteasers" by Dom Forker, Robert Obojski & Wayne Stewart. I want to share some of these with people because I've always liked stories about odd plays. That's the reason why I called my blog "Dropped Third Strike." While it can be a routine play, sometimes something unorthodox happens and makes the game more interesting.

The Free Swinger
Gus Zernial of the Athletics was so strong that his teammates called him "Ozark Ike." One day an opposing pitcher bounced a two-strike curveball a foot in front of the plate. But Zernial was fooled by the pitch and swung at it. To almost everyone's surprise, however, he lifted the ball over the left-center field fence for a home run. It was no surprise that the opposition contended that the swing was illegal and Zernial should be a strikeout victim.

What's your interpretation?

Answer:
It's a home run. Rule 2.00 A BALL - if the batter hits such a pitch, the ensuing action will be the same as if he had hit the ball in flight.

So there you have it. You can hit the ball on a bounce and it'll be in play.

3 comments:

kimaloo said...

Intriguing. Can I borrow your book? ;)

zman40 said...

Wow, I actually have that book. It's some good bathroom reading material.

shanediaz82 said...

Good stuff, I actually did a quick write-up on "Ozark Ike" for my blog a while back but didn't know this.

http://shoeboxlegends.blogspot.com/2008/05/1953-topps-project-post-14.html