I was googling around the internet, prepping for this weekend’s Subway Series at Citi Field when I came across this tidbit in Baseball Reference’s BR Bullpen:
1880 – In Albany‘s Riverside Park, Lip Pike hits a ball over the wall and into the river. RF Lon Knight begins to go after the ball in a boat but gives up. Few parks have ground rules about giving the batter an automatic home run on a hit over the fence.
Ok, so the over-the-wall home run hadn’t been institutionalized at the time, but the mind races nonetheless. Just how close to the river was this ballpark? How slow was Pike that Knight actually thought that jumping the fence and hopping in a boat would still give him a chance to throw him out at home? Was this the fore-runner of the kayaks that currently patrol McCovey Cove? And what the hell kind of a name is Lip?
The BR Bullpen is an awesome time-killer and historical resource. Sure, not everyday is the 130th anniversary of some guying attempting to field a live ball in a boat. But the site is full of tidbits and well worth your time if you’re interested in baseball history. Another example, from 2005:
You’ll have to click the link to get the end of that particular story. But when you do, bookmark BR Bullpen. You won’t regret it.
Programming Note: I was going to preview the Subway Series, but that’s been covered so well by so many others that I gave it a pass. If you’re looking for quality previews, I suggest you check out ESPN New York’s Series Preview, On The Black’s Mets vs Yankees Interview and, if you’re looking for video, SNY’s The Baseball Show’s Mets-Yankees Preview. I won’t offer a prediction, but I will say I’m excited to see how Hisanori Takahashi, Mike Pelfrey, and Johan Santana handle one of the best lineups in baseball. I think they’re up to the challenge, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out.