I'll be the first to admit that I am a huge baseball history geek. There is something unusually fascinating to me about old school baseball. And by old school, I mean way old school...like baseball 90-100 years ago old school. Now that's old school.
And speaking of school, in one of my many moments of finals procrastination, I (with the much needed help of my roommate) discovered articles from Baseball Magazine, a publication that ran from the deadball era into the 1950s. What a find! After about five minutes of searching through the articles, I realized that I had just stumbled upon a baseball nerd's dream. Articles from the deadball era!
The most interesting piece that I read yesterday was written by hall of fame OF Sam Crawford aka Wahoo Sam. For those of you who do not know, Crawford was one of the most feared hitters of the deadball era and actually holds the record for most lifetime inside the park home runs. How about that!
So anyway, in the article (found here), Crawford discusses the aura surrounding 3,000 hits and his goal of getting 3,000 hits. At the time the article was written, there were only three men (LaJoie, Anson, and Wagner) who had 3,000 hits, which gave the record a fantastic aura around it. I imagine that 3,000 hits was similar to what the home run record (755) is/was-before Barry.
Crawford comes off to me as a very humble guy. He understands the baseball has given so much to him and at the same time, he believes that he can still hit and just needs the opportunity to play. Furthermore, Crawford understands the importance of 3,000 hits, which would permanently cement his place in history next to the greatest players in the game.
However, this tale has a sad ending. Crawford fell just 39 hits shy of 3,000 after being reduced to pinch hitting duties in 1917. Crawford's hatred of pinch hitting is evident throughout the article, so I guess it is no surprise that he was not a successful pinch hitter.
What a fascinating article, especially for those who love old time English!
(Note: my favorite line: Crawford writes, "Now there was a time when I could have made 39 hits in a single month of healthy swatting."
I hope everyone enjoyed the article. If I find any other gems, I'll be sure to post them.