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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

The Old 'Potato Into Left Field' Trick

Illustration for article titled The Old 'Potato Into Left Field' Trick

I think this might be the coolest thing that's happened in baseball history. I'm snickering even as I type this. Dave Bresnahan was a backup catcher for the AA Williamsport Bills, and had a hunch that he was about to be cut. He also had an idea that he could get a baserunner out with the use of a peeled potato.


A condensed version: Bresnahan went to the grocery store and found a potato from which he could carve a fake baseball. He peeled it to the perfect size, and stuck it in a mitt in the dugout. With a man on third, he told the ump he had an equipment problem, and went and got the potato. During the pitch, he moved the potato to his bare hand, he caught the ball, and launched the potato over the third baseman's head into left field. The runner headed for home, and Bresnahan tagged him with the actual ball, which remained in his glove.

Sounds brilliant, but the umpire didn't see it that way. He didn't know what to do, and actually ended up calling the runner safe. And worse than that, Bresnahan was fined $50 by his manager, and released him the next day, ending his career.

I think it was worth it.

This Spuds for You: The Dave Bresnahan Story [The Baseball Report]
Dave Bresnahan Potato [The Baseball Reliquary]