We mentioned this yesterday, but it got us to thinking: What was the greatest baseball game ever played? Game 7 of the 1960 World Series between the Yankees and the Pirates? Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World" that gave the Giants the 1951 pennant over the Dodgers? Well, no such discussion would be complete without Bugs Bunny, who single-handledly led the Tea Totallers over the Gas-House Gorillas at the Polo Grounds in 1946. Although we've seen it on television for years, no one has taken the time to break down this classic confrontation — until now. The great baseball blog U.S.S. Mariner gives us a report that is, we beieve, Cooperstown-worthy. We found it just the thing to usher in the baseball season. Among Mariners' findings on this classic, under-appreciated game:
• The Gorillas hold a 54-0 lead after four innings. That is far ahead of the previous all-time scoring record for a team in a game (held by the Chicago Colts, who scored 36 against Louisville in four innings on June 29th, 1897).
• For some reason, the Gorillas are allowed to smoke cigars during play.
• In the carnage, even Gorilla coaches, bat boys and other uniformed staff are able to bat and hit against the weak Tea Totaller pitching.
• We are introduced to both the shabby state of the grounds keeping and of stadium security at the Polo Grounds, as we see an angry rabbit (Bugs Bunny, RHP/UT) is able to heckle the visiting team from left field, where he has dug a fairly substantial hole.
• Bunny's pitching line: 5 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 3K, 0 BB, 0 HR.
• One Gorillas hitter uses the largest bat ever known to be used in a baseball game — actually a tree — estimated to be 20 feet long, three feet in diameter and just shy of 5,000 pounds.
Mariner also works out the physics that explains how Bugs can throw a pitch and beat the ball to home plate and catch it himself. It's a fine bit of investigative journalism, inspired, no doubt, by the recent DVD release of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection, which features the cartoon Baseball Bugs. If not the greatest game ever played, possibly the greatest cartoon ever made.