Good Field – but No Hit? — The Sporting Blog

Now the count’s 3 and 0. Faber doesn’t want to walk him, so he throws a strike and Cobb bunts it toward first. He wanted to draw the pitcher over to field it so he can give him the business. But Faber knew better. He didn’t move. The first baseman had to field the ball, so Cobb was safe. But he had nobody to get even with. If his mother had been at first, he would’ve cut her up.

I probably hold the record for most hidden ball tricks. I only did it two or three times a year, about thirty-some times over my career, but that was more than anybody else.

I didn’t hide the ball in my glove. I’d go over to the pitcher and tell him, “Don’t get on the rubber or it’ll be a balk,” and I’d quick sweep the ball under my armpit and walk back to third twirling the glove in my hands. The pitcher would stall around a little and I’d watch the runner until he took a few steps off the base, then I’d tag him.

One time I pulled it and George Moriarty was the umpire. He said to me, “If I was the manager of a team and that happened to one of my baserunners, I’d fine the coach $500.”

Well, a couple years later Moriarty was managing Detroit and coaching at third. One day I saw a chance and pulled the trick on one of his players. When the umpire called the runner out, I turned to George and said, “Who are you going to fine the $500 this time, George?”

I was involved in one triple play. I didn’t start it. I finished it. We were playing Cleveland. They had men on second and third with nobody out. I heard the coach remind them both not to move until the ball cleared the infield. The ball was hit to the shortstop, who threw the runner out at first. Johnny Hodapp took off from second and made it to third, but Charlie Jamieson was still on third. I got the ball and tagged Jamieson first and Hodapp second. The ump said, “You’re out’ without saying which one was out. In the confusion, while the players and coach were cussing each other, Jamieson strolled off the base. I got between him and the bag and said, “Look what I’ve got, Jamie,” and put the ball on him. Of course, Hodapp was the one who was out originally. Jamieson had possession of third base.

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