Baseball's Most Disgraceful Moments: "Here we're interested only in what's at the far end of the embarrassment spectrum, the serious stuff that left a stain on the game that cannot be cleansed."
posted by Joey Michaels to baseball at 04:07 PM - 25 comments
1. Commissioner Kenesaw Landis in 1942 announces there is no policy, official or otherwise, barring blacks from baseball. I didn't like the way he titled the number one Most Disgraceful Moment, but I can't argue with segregation being number one. It would be nice to see what kinds of numbers Negro League greats would have posted in the majors.
posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:49 PM on August 02
Bill Veeck had intended to buy the Phillies in 1943 and stock his roster with stars from the Negro leagues, but NL president Ford Frick and Landis made sure Veeck didn't get the team. (It went to William Cox, who was later banned for life for betting on baseball.) That was the paragraph that got me. How different the history of baseball might have been had that happened.
posted by Joey Michaels at 05:27 PM on August 02
The other sports are worth reading too, though the soccer one is pathetically ill informed. A list of soccers worst moments that has no mention of either Hillsborough or Heysel?
posted by Drood at 05:30 PM on August 02
Most disgraceful moments? Well as any long time Tiger fan knows one of the most disgraceful moments in baseball can be summed up in only two words. Bert Campaneris!
posted by commander cody at 06:21 PM on August 02
Royals fan here admitting that Don Deckinger fits in there somewhere. Great post, Joey.
posted by hawkguy at 08:58 PM on August 02
I also have to say that Buck O'neil not being in the HoF is a miscarriage of justice as well.
posted by hawkguy at 09:15 PM on August 02
I'm surprised that the collusion era gets a mention, but there is no mention to the way the game was played in the 1890s. Quoting from Bill James' Historical Baseball Abstract: "Players spiked one another. A first baseman would grab the belt of the baserunner to hold him back a half-second after the ball was hit. Players tripped one another as they rounded bases. Fights broke out more days than not. Players shoved umpires, spat on them, and punched them. Fans hurled insults and beer bottles at the players of opposing teams."
posted by grum@work at 09:46 PM on August 02
grum@work: That was Saturday night at old Cominsky!
posted by ?! at 10:25 PM on August 02
1890's? Hell that sounds like all in one game for Ty Cobb.
posted by commander cody at 10:30 PM on August 02
posted by willthrill72 at 10:31 PM on August 02
1) It's typing after a day at Disney!! 2) No, I meant Clint Cominsky Field in Altoona. 3) Many fans don't realize the field wasn't named after the owner of the White Sox, but actually named after the tavern that previously occupied the land. 4) Hell, that's enough. I'm beat. And on to the real comment: 11) Jeffrey Loria, MLB and the theft of the Expos.
posted by ?! at 10:37 PM on August 02
Agree with Drood. That soccer column takes some beating for a lack of historical anything. It should have been retitled 'Embarrassing moments in soccer that I can remember since I got cable 2 years ago'. Though, to be fair, there are some good history of football docos around. It's just he never watched them.
posted by owlhouse at 11:09 PM on August 02
Sorry...I'm not even a Sox fan! I hope you enjoyed Disney and didn't have to spend a year's salary in the process.
posted by willthrill72 at 11:50 PM on August 02
My vote goes to Lee Elia when he referred to the Cub fans as unemployed bums.
posted by panteeze at 11:56 PM on August 02
11) Jeffrey Loria, MLB and the theft of the Expos. Very much so.
posted by alex_reno at 03:41 AM on August 03
when i think of embarrassing, i think of that pig owner of the 80's reds and yes, our astro uniforms of the 80's. (puke orange and yellow)
posted by ptluigi at 04:48 AM on August 03
marg schott, i believe her name was
posted by ptluigi at 04:49 AM on August 03
Yeah I agree Drood, the soccer one doesn't exactly seem well researched. My favourite recent example of embarrasment in sport was in horseracing, when Roger Loughran celebrated too soon, thinking he'd past the winning post, waving his whip around, only there was still another 100 yards to go. Although that is only embarrassing on a personal scale, not sports-wide
posted by Fence at 05:33 AM on August 03
That "Steroid Era" crap annoys the shit out of me. Here you have practically everyone in major league baseball knowing this exists, to varying extents, but refusing to open their mouths over it, but when some finally do come out and state the obvious, now it's a disgraceful era in the game? It's something baseball wanted because the results steroids helped create sold tickets. The game gained strength, from a fan-perspective, after the last strike due in large part to steroids, and the game continues it's popularity. People can spout off on various blogs how these chemicals have ruined the game, but outside of a few players soiling their reputations and several others possibly being ignored by Cooperstown, the game really hasn't been as negatively effected as some seem to think. And don't give me all this "What about all the tainted records" crap. While records are nice, they are mainly a part of the past. Major league baseball never wanted to do anything about steroids (even though they knew they were prevalent) until force to do so. What most people buying tickets and supporting the game today want are exciting pennant races, which there will be this season. Do I wish steroids never existed in the game? Sure. But I'm not about to fixate on the issue and ignore baseball. Like the one part of the article talking about Willie Mays pushing his "Red Juice" (or whatever) that was evidentally a mixture of all types of crap, players of bygone eras probably had their own type of chemical aides, but it was just easier to get away with. Nobody really cared and there wasn't 3,000,000 TV stations, 6 trillion web sites, and 2 trillion reporters fighting for new angles in an effort to sell their particular product.
posted by dyams at 07:53 AM on August 03
The one that hit me hardest was the whole Pete Rose debacle...... from (my) childhood hero to disgrace, and very quickly. A part of me still clamors "Say it ain't so, Pete!"
posted by mjkredliner at 09:07 AM on August 03
Wow, dyams. Nice rant. Spot on, too.
posted by cl at 11:51 AM on August 03
Thanks, cl. I looked at it when I was done and figured I should shutup. Oh, well...
posted by dyams at 12:59 PM on August 03
Bill Veeck had intended to buy the Phillies in 1943 and stock his roster with stars from the Negro leagues, but NL president Ford Frick and Landis made sure Veeck didn't get the team. (It went to William Cox, who was later banned for life for betting on baseball.) That was the paragraph that got me. How different the history of baseball might have been had that happened. Don't waste too much regret on that. Veeck was a showman who could easily have turned the integration of the major leagues into a stunt, throwing the serious recognition of black baseball players back decades. It's hard to guess how Veeck would have handled it, but I highly doubt it would have been as well calculated as Branch Rickey's plan. Grum, I wonder how much of the behavior in the 1890's was viewed as an embarrassment, rather than the natural manifestation of the competitive nature of players at the time. Even looking back at it now, there is something more charming than despicable about it. I am amazed that, of the top 10, only three occurred during the Selig era. The handling of the Expos, mentioned above, certainly does deserve consideration, as does the All-Star Game tie and subsequent over-compensation by making it effect the World Series. Plus, the fact that Clay Bellinger appeared in three World Series and walked away with two rings. I would also add Bowie Kuhn's banning of Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle from baseball for their respective affiliations with casinos. My step-father considers that the defining moment of Kuhn's tenure, and has never forgiven him.
posted by BullpenPro at 01:19 PM on August 03
I also have to say that Buck O'neil not being in the HoF is a miscarriage of justice as well. I disagree. And, by the way, so does Buck O'Neil.
posted by BullpenPro at 03:19 PM on August 03
"And, by the way, so does Buck O'Neil." Further proof that a man is never the best judge of his own significance.
posted by ?! at 08:30 AM on August 04
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