by Rob Joyce
In minor league baseball, any attention is good attention. And for the Hartford Yard Goats, this strikeout was worth a few thousand re-tweets and millions of views. In their weekend contest against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, Josh Fuentes was at the plate when the pitch he faced with two-strikes was thrown…
Whether you consider it a wildly strict interpretation of the rulebook by the home plate umpire or a foolish moment for Fuentes (it’s probably a combination of both) it’s certainly amusing. Baseball has seen a lot of unusual plays in its time. Fuentes is among the more unusual outcomes for a play, as are these five other oddities:
Cleveland infielder Carlos Martinez only hit 25 home runs in his seven year MLB career. It should have been 24, but when he was playing the Rangers in 1991 Jose Canseco used the ol’ noggin to give a long fly ball a little extra oomph.
Las Vegas 51s:
Like the Rumble Ponies, the 51s are a Mets’ affiliate. They were playing the El Paso Chihuahuas last September when Eric Campbell hit what appeared to be a clear foul ball down the first base line. Unfortunately for him, physics had a different plan for the ball.
In 1981 the Royals were playing the Mariners when Kansas City’s Amos Otis hit a chopper down the third base line. Of course, if the ball is touched in fair territory it’s obviously a fair ball, but if it rolls over the foul line it’s simply a strike. Seattle third baseman Randle took this to the extreme… he didn’t technically touch the ball, he merely tried to ensure the ball would go foul.
The Hall of Famer won 303 career games, struck out more batters (4,875) than everyone except Nolan Ryan, won seven Cy Young Awards and a World Series. Yet he might best be remembered for a spring training pitch in 2001, when he threw the weirdest “no pitch” in major league history, leaving an unsuspecting critter dead in its tracks.
In the late 1980s, Phillies’ minor league prospect Dave Bresnahan spent an entire night scheming up a way to get an out. He carved a potato to look like a baseball, brought it to the game the next day and waited for his opportunity. With a runner on third, he chucked the potato into the outfield, while holding onto the real ball, then tagged the man as he bolted towards home. The out was short-lived, however; the umpire was none too pleased with the stunt and ruled the runner safe.