I’m filing this one under things I never wondered about but am glad I know, because I’m sure that one day it’ll make for some mighty good party trivia.
Back in 1883 when things were ever so slightly different than they are in 2015, novelty baseball games were a common and popular thing. Also common at the time were horrible industrial accidents, many of which seem to have involved the railroad. Naturally somebody had the bright idea to merge these two things, and so it came to pass that a team of 1-armed baseball players called the Snorkeys took on a team of 1-legged players creatively dubbed the Hoppers. The game was such a success that another one took place a few months later between teams known only as 1-leg and 1-arm, perhaps because whoever came up with the Hoppers was on the DL due to an unfortunate railroad misadventure on naming day. At least one of these contests was played for something called “the Cripple Championship” (the well respected newspaper’s words of the day, not mine). If you’re curious about who won (How could you not be?), here’s the story in audio form.
Shame we never got the rubber match.