Two Balls, One Play

A cursory look into Bob Anderson and his wikipedia page last week uncovered one of the wackiest plays in baseball history. Of course, it made sense to diagram it.

Check out the conference behind the plate, where catcher Sammy Taylor, Bob Anderson, and umpire Vic Delmore argued the fact that ball four should have been a foul tip. Watch Stan Musial, the batter, add a “PB” to his “BB” as he rounded first while they argued. Sharp as a tack. Note unsavory “PP,” representing field announcer Pat Pieper, who picked up Ball #1 as it rolled to the backstop during the argument. Digest the fact that Ernie Banks mostly watched all of this unfold from his position, choosing to migrate slowly towards second base and let them yell it out by home plate. See third baseman Alvin Dark charge Mr. Pieper and demand the ball. Watch Musial watch Anderson — who got a ball from the umpire after the conclusion of the argument — sail a throw into center. Laugh with Dark as he throws a confused Stan the Man out at second base. Revel in the confusion that the center fielder, Bobby Thomson, must have felt when that second ball bounced into his outfield patch of grass. Notice the black hole by second base, where two Hall of Famers collided with the effect of two balls and the baseball-time-continuum suffered a malignant event.

And, once you’ve digested this all, compare it to the original diagram. They may have had more knowledge, but who wore it better? I say the one using color.

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Graphs: Baseball, Roto, Beer, brats (OK, no graphs for that...yet), repeat. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris.

6 Responses to “Two Balls, One Play”

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  1. Yirmiyahu says:

    Next step: animate the whole thing. Probably in this style:

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  2. olethros says:

    What I don’t understand about this play is how the ball wasn’t declared dead the moment Pieper touched it, giving Musial either second or first, depending on where he was at the time.

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  3. Kyle says:

    No doubt color takes this thing to the next level. You’re doing the Lord’s work, Eno.

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  4. Mike says:

    Of course this was the Cubs on defense. Who else?

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