Take Me Out To The Ball Game…But Just Once

For the baseball fans, here’s a long, interesting article about baseball players who, for one reason or another, only ever got to play in one major league game during their careers. Some of these stories are funny, some are sad and some are kind of cool.

Manager Hughie Jennings was in a bind. The night before, his star Ty Cobb had responded to a fan’s heckle of “half-nigger” by entering the stands and beating him senseless. When onlookers pointed out that the guy being pummeled was missing one hand and three fingers from the other, the player reportedly said, “I don’t care if he got no feet.” AL president Ban Johnson responded to the incident by suspending Cobb, indefinitely. The rest of his Tigers team, knowing they had no shot without him, refused to play until Cobb was reinstated. So here was Jennings, walking the streets of Detroit, trying to patch together a rag-tag team of scrubs to avoid a $5,000-a-game no-show fine from the league. And there, standing on a random street corner, stood 20-year-old Allan Travers. He’d never pitched a game in his life, but he was up for the challenge. That night he’d throw eight innings in front of 20,000 fans and give up 24 runs on 26 hits, closing out his career with a 15.75 ERA. But it most likely wasn’t the bombardment he remembered years later. It was the one batter he managed to strike out.

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