The mysterious corked bat
I have seen a lot of fights at baseball games, usually between
players or teams with long-standing rivalries. But I'll never
forget the incident where a player fought with an umpire over a
Here's what happened:
It was 1980 or 1981, a sunny afternoon in Oakland, the A's
vs. Angels. An Angel player (I'm not going to mention any names;
you know who you are) hit a home run. While he was rounding the
bases, the A's catcher gestered questioningly to the umpire about
the bat (presumably how the bat sounded when the ball was hit).
The umpire picked up the bat to check it just as the batter was
crossing the plate. The batter immediately tried to grab the bat
from the umpire. The benches cleared and when the fight was over
the bat was gone. The commentators mentioned that the catcher
must have thought the bat was corked, but with the bat vanishing,
who would ever know what really happened.
From where I was sitting (by the left field foul pole--straight
down the line), I was amazed at the player grabbing the bat from the
umpire. That action had guilt written all over it.
But who would ever have known.....except.....
One week later the same player had a bat break while he was
batting and cork flew out all over the place....
Need I say more?