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Earl Morrall thought he was going to be a quarterback for the St. Louis football Cardinals.

It might have happened if the team he was with, the New York Giants, had been less cautious.

Rather than replacing, or substituting for, the Cardinals’ Jim Hart, Morrall went on to play for the Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins, filling in for Johnny Unitas and Bob Griese with astounding success.

As the Los Angeles Times noted, “Morrall was the NFL’s answer to a brilliant Broadway understudy.”

Passed around

Born in Muskegon, Mich., Morrall excelled in athletics at Michigan State. A shortstop and third baseman in baseball, he played in the College World Series. In football, he was a consensus all-America at quarterback and led Michigan State to victory in the Rose Bowl.

The San Francisco 49ers selected Morrall in the first round of the 1956 NFL draft. In his rookie season, Morrall backed up Y.A. Tittle. After the 49ers took Stanford quarterback John Brodie in the 1957 draft, they traded Morrall to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

At Pittsburgh, Morrall was the starting quarterback in 1957 and his backups were Len Dawson and Jack Kemp. Harry Gilmer was the Steelers’ backfield coach and Buddy Parker was head coach.

Parker, a former Cardinals player, had been head coach of the Detroit Lions and led them to two NFL championships before joining the Steelers. His quarterback in Detroit was Bobby Layne and Parker wanted him in Pittsburgh.

During the third week of the 1958 season, the Steelers traded Morrall to the Lions for Layne.

Returning to his home state wasn’t a treat for Morrall. He mostly was a backup to the likes of Tobin Rote, Jim Ninowski and Milt Plum. “I was at my lowest ebb,” Morrall told The Sporting News. “I thought about giving up the game.”

An exception was in 1963 when Morrall made 10 starts and threw 24 touchdown passes, but the next year he hurt his shoulder and the Lions reinstated Plum as the starter.

A positive from Morrall’s time with Detroit is he made a connection with Don Shula, a Lions assistant coach for three seasons (1960-62). Shula joined the Lions as a defensive backs coach and became defensive coordinator. “When I was in Detroit, I always had a lot of respect for the way Earl could come in off the bench and win games for you,” Shula told The Sporting News.

Help wanted

In August 1965, the Giants, seeking an experienced quarterback to replace Y.A. Tittle, acquired Morrall from the Lions.

Morrall, 31, threw 22 touchdown passes as the Giants’ starter in 1965, but the next year he broke his wrist and was limited to seven starts. After the season, the Giants got Fran Tarkenton from the Minnesota Vikings and declared him the starter for 1967.

The Cardinals’ quarterback for 1967 was supposed to be Charley Johnson, who’d been their starter since 1962. His backup was Jim Hart, who spent his rookie season in 1966 on the sidelines until getting into the final game as a substitute.

In August 1967, the Cardinals’ plans got scrambled when Johnson, a reserve Army officer, received orders to report for military service.

With Johnson unavailable, the Cardinals were looking at Hart as their starter unless they could acquire a veteran quarterback before the Sept. 17 start of the season.

“If there’s anyone I’d like to have, it would be the Rams’ Bill Munson,” Cardinals head coach Charley Winner told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Cardinals contacted the Rams, who decided to keep Munson as their backup to Roman Gabriel.

“Earl Morrall might be available,” the Post-Dispatch reported.

A matter of timing

The Giants needed a defensive lineman. With second-year pro Tom Kennedy groomed as a potential backup to Tarkenton, published reports indicated Morrall was available in exchange for a defensive tackle or end.

Harry Gilmer, the Steelers’ backfield coach when Morrall was their quarterback, was in his first year as Cardinals quarterback coach in 1967 and was thought to be advocating for Morrall.

“I thought they would try to trade for an experienced quarterback because I didn’t think they thought I was ready,” Hart told Sports Illustrated.

In the 1977 book, “The Jim Hart Story,” Hart said, “You can’t tell me the Cardinals didn’t try to go after another veteran quarterback. I’ve since learned they were willing to beg, borrow or steal somebody with experience.”

When the Giants didn’t play Morrall in exhibition games, speculation suggested he was being kept out to prevent the chance of an injury while trade talks were held.

One proposed deal was for the Cardinals to send defensive lineman Don Brumm to the Giants for Morrall, the New York Daily News reported.

“The way I understand it, I would have been sent to St. Louis earlier (in the exhibition season),” Morrall told The Sporting News, “but the Giants were reluctant doing it too soon because we were going to open the (regular) season against the Cardinals and they didn’t want me revealing too much information.”

The Giants’ stalling worked in their favor. In the Giants’ final exhibition game, against the Green Bay Packers, Kennedy fractured a collarbone and separated a shoulder. With Kennedy out for the season, the Giants needed to keep Morrall as backup to Tarkenton.

“Morrall believed he was pegged for a trade to St. Louis,” The Sporting News reported. “He says he heard the deal was practically made, but was called off when Kennedy (was) injured.”

In “The Jim Hart Story,” Cardinals defensive tackle Bob Rowe said the subject of who would start at quarterback dominated discussion among the players.

“One guy wanted to know if anybody had heard who they were going to get to replace Charley (Johnson),” Rowe recalled. “Somebody else said he was pretty sure they were going to go with Hart. Then everybody in the group said, ‘Oh my God!’ “

In the 1967 regular-season opener, the Giants beat the Cardinals, 37-20, at St. Louis. Tarkenton threw three touchdown passes and wasn’t intercepted. Hart had one scoring throw and was intercepted four times.

(In retirement, Morrall and Hart both resided in Naples, Fla., and became friends. In 2014, the Naples Daily News shed a different light on the 1967 trade talk. “According to Hart, the quarterbacks nearly were traded for one another,” the newspaper reported.)

Center stage

Morrall spent the 1967 season as Tarkenton’s backup. In August 1968, the Colts’ No. 2 quarterback, Jim Ward, got hurt in an exhibition game. At the urging of Don Shula, who had become their head coach, the Colts acquired Morrall from the Giants to back up Johnny Unitas.

The minor transaction turned out to be a big deal for the Colts.

Two weeks later, on Sept. 7, 1968, Unitas severely injured his right elbow in the Colts’ final exhibition game. Morrall, 34, became the Colts’ starter and led them to a 13-1 record in the regular season. Morrall’s 26 touchdown passes were the most in the league and he was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player.

The Colts advanced through the playoffs before losing to the New York Jets and their flashy quarterback, Joe Namath, in the Super Bowl.

Two years later, the Colts returned to the Super Bowl against the Dallas Cowboys. Unitas left the game after injuring his ribs. Morrall replaced him, helping the Colts to victory.

Don McCafferty was the Colts’ head coach then. Don Shula left after the 1969 season to become Miami Dolphins head coach.

The Colts placed Morrall on waivers before the 1972 season and the Dolphins signed him to back up Bob Griese.

Just like with the Colts in 1968, the timing was superb.

After winning their first four games, the 1972 Dolphins were playing the San Diego Chargers when Griese suffered a broken leg and dislocated ankle. Morrall, 38, could feel the tension from his teammates as he entered the huddle. According to lineman Bob Kuechenberg, Morrall took a look at the worried faces staring back at him and said, “All right, anyone know any dirty jokes?”

The relaxed confidence of the unfazed old pro calmed the Dolphins. With Morrall the starter, they completed the regular season with a 14-0 record. He led them to a win in the first playoff game and started the second before Griese replaced him. Griese was the starter when the Dolphins capped their perfect season with a Super Bowl victory against the Washington Redskins.

Morrall played for the Dolphins until he was 42. At the invitation of University of Miami head coach Howard Schnellenberger, Morrall later mentored Hurricanes quarterbacks Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar and Vinny Testaverde.

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Two years after Mike Flanagan won the American League Cy Young Award, the Orioles were willing to trade him to the Cardinals.

The Orioles made Flanagan the centerpiece of a package they offered to the Cardinals in 1981. In exchange, the Orioles wanted two players the Cardinals were willing to trade, outfielder Sixto Lezcano and shortstop Garry Templeton.

The trade talks between the Cardinals and Orioles began in November 1981 and extended to the baseball winter meetings in December, but despite several attempts to structure a deal, the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement.

Neither club regretted the outcome. The Cardinals traded Templeton and Lezcano to the Padres for a future Hall of Famer, Ozzie Smith, who helped them win the World Series championship in 1982.

Rather than have Templeton at shortstop, the Orioles turned to an internal candidate, Cal Ripken, who, like Smith, developed into a Hall of Famer and helped them win the World Series championship in 1983.

Trade chip

A durable left-hander, Flanagan was 23-9 in 1979 when the Orioles won the American League pennant. Flanagan received 26 of 28 first-place votes in the Cy Young Award balloting.

In September 1981, Flanagan developed tendinitis in his left elbow and missed a turn in the rotation, ending a streak of 157 consecutive starts since 1977. “It’s just an oil change and a 30,000-inning checkup,” he told The Sporting News.

With Flanagan eligible to become a free agent after the 1982 season, the Orioles wanted to get him signed to a multiyear contract in November 1981. When he wouldn’t commit, the Orioles let it be known they were willing to deal him.

As the Baltimore Evening Sun noted, “Rather than take a chance on losing a pitcher of Flanagan’s caliber as a free agent, it is preferable to trade him.”

A player the Orioles wanted was outfielder Sixto Lezcano. Acquired by the Cardinals from the Brewers in December 1980, Lezcano asked to be traded after the 1981 season.

When he was with the Brewers, then an American League team, Lezcano had a .378 on-base percentage in games against the Orioles.

“The Orioles have coveted Lezcano almost since the day he broke in with Milwaukee,” The Sporting News reported, also noting that Orioles manager Earl Weaver “long has been a fan of Lezcano.”

Whitey Herzog, who had the dual role of Cardinals manager and general manager, wanted a pitcher in exchange for Lezcano. Orioles general manager Hank Peters “apparently is willing to part with Mike Flanagan,” according to The Sporting News.

Mix and match

A trade of Lezcano for Flanagan likely would have been made, but the Orioles opted to expand the deal to include Templeton.

Herzog wanted to trade Templeton, who was unhappy in St. Louis, and sought a shortstop in return. The shortstops the Orioles offered were veteran backup Lenn Sakata and rookie Bobby Bonner.

Jim Russo, who resided in St. Louis and scouted the National League for the Orioles, recommended Lezcano and Templeton. Russo was “instrumental in these discussions from the beginning,” the Baltimore Evening Sun reported.

In November 1981, the Baltimore Sun reported the proposed deal was Flanagan, outfielder Gary Roenicke and either Sakata or Bonner for Lezcano and Templeton.

Both sides were intrigued but agreed to suspend talks until the December baseball winter meetings in Hollywood, Fla.

At those meetings, the Baltimore Evening Sun reported, Orioles third baseman Doug DeCinces was added to the offer. The proposed trade was Flanagan, DeCinces, Roenicke and either Sakata or Bonner for Lezcano and Templeton.

The Orioles were willing to include DeCinces because they projected Cal Ripken, who debuted with them in August 1981, to be their third baseman, with either Sakata or Bonner playing shortstop.

The Cardinals, though, were not sold on having either Sakata or Bonner as their replacement for Templeton. A shortstop Herzog liked was Ivan DeJesus of the Cubs. Herzog also asked the Orioles for pitcher Sammy Stewart as a substitute for Flanagan. A right-hander who could start and relieve, Stewart had a 2.32 ERA for the 1981 Orioles. In 26 relief appearances that year, his ERA was 1.58.

“Herzog has a high regard for Flanagan,” the Baltimore Evening Sun reported, “but the pitcher he coveted most … was Sammy Stewart.”

Eager to make a deal, the Orioles tried to accommodate Herzog and the Cardinals. According to the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles, Cardinals and Cubs discussed a three-way trade. The Orioles would send Flanagan, DeCinces and Bonner to the Cubs for DeJesus and pitchers Mike Krukow and Lee Smith. Then the Orioles would swap DeJesus and Sammy Stewart to the Cardinals for Templeton, Lezcano and pitcher Bob Shirley.

“We’ve talked to the Cubs extensively, very extensively,” Hank Peters told the Baltimore Sun.

The Cubs, though, foiled the plan, trading Krukow to the Phillies on Dec. 8 for Keith Moreland, Dickie Noles and Dan Larson.

The Cardinals and Orioles continued to try to find the right combination of players to complete a deal. The Cardinals asked for outfielder John Shelby instead of Roenicke, the Baltimore Evening Sun reported, and the Orioles asked for outfielder Gene Roof.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “one possible combination would have had Templeton and Lezcano going to the Orioles for pitchers Flanagan and Steve Stone and either Bonner or DeCinces.”

“Whatever the other teams offer St. Louis, we’ll make a better offer,” Earl Weaver said to the Baltimore Sun. “I’m definitely not against overloading the deal with pitchers if we can get a shortstop who bats .300 and a man who can go get fly balls like Sixto.”

On Dec. 10, the Baltimore Evening Sun reported, “The trade has been restructured so many times that the two teams have talked nine times in the last two days.”

Change in plans

By then, the Padres had entered the picture, and the Cardinals’ interest in the Orioles cooled considerably.

Before the winter meetings ended, the Padres agreed to trade Ozzie Smith and pitchers Steve Mura and Al Olmsted to the Cardinals for Templeton, Lezcano and pitcher Luis DeLeon.

A month later, in January 1982, the Cubs traded Ivan DeJesus to the Phillies for Ryne Sandberg and Larry Bowa, and the Orioles dealt DeCinces to the Angels for outfielder Dan Ford.

Ford became the Orioles’ right fielder in 1982, filling the role the team had envisioned for Sixto Lezcano.

The Orioles opened the 1982 season with Cal Ripken at third base and Lenn Sakata at shortstop. Ripken shifted to shortstop in July.

Mike Flanagan earned 15 wins for the 1982 Orioles.

In 18 seasons in the majors with the Orioles and Blue Jays, Flanagan had a record of 167-143.

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Just as with Covid in 2021, Cardinals team members in 1996 were urged to be responsible and get inoculated to help protect themselves and others from a contagious disease.

Twenty-five years ago, on Oct. 23, 1996, St. Louis County health officials said four employees of Bartolino’s South restaurant at 5914 South Lindbergh Boulevard were diagnosed with the highly contagious hepatitis A disease.

Health officials recommended that everyone who ate food from the restaurant between Oct. 9, 1996, and Oct. 20, 1996, should receive an injection of immune globulin, which contains antibodies to the disease.

As many as 4,000 people, including players and other team members of the Cardinals, were at risk, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

At risk

On Oct. 13, after the Cardinals beat the Braves in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series at St. Louis, Bartolino’s South served the team a catered meal of salad, pasta and chicken, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Also, the night before, the restaurant catered a party at the house of Cardinals catcher Tom Pagnozzi, according to the Post-Dispatch.

Unknown at the time was that a Bartolino’s South salad maker and three busboys had hepatitis A, health officials said.

Hepatitis A, a viral infection of the liver, can be passed by eating food prepared or handled by an infected person.

After the Cardinals lost Game 7 of the series at Atlanta on Oct. 17, team members dispersed to their homes.

Six days later, Cardinals officials learned the team may have been exposed to the viral infection. A club spokesman said the team was trying to contact all players, coaches and other personnel who shared the dinner and urged them to get a immune globulin shot.

Doing the right thing

“What we’re trying to do is to focus on preventing future cases,” said Dr. Linda Fisher, medical director of the St. Louis County health department. “The most important thing right now is that people who ate in the restaurant during that period of time need to promptly get these shots.”

To be effective, the immune globulin shot must be received within 14 days of exposure to the virus, the Post-Dispatch reported.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the immune globulin shot provides immunity for about 90 days. The immune globulin shot is different than a vaccine. Hepatitis A vaccine provides long-term protection and requires two inoculations six months apart.

On Oct. 23, the day it was revealed the restaurant workers were afflicted, the St. Louis County health department and area hospitals administered more than 2,500 doses of immune globulin to customers of the restaurant, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Among those who said they received the free shots that day were Pagnozzi and Cardinals trainer Gene Gieselmann.

According to the book “Cardinals Journal,” players, coaches and staff followed the advice of health officials and began a round of antibiotic shots as a precautionary measure, even though no one on the club had been reported ill.

The total number of restaurant customers who got the shots to protect them from hepatitis A reached 3,400, according to the Post-Dispatch.

In December 1996, the greater St. Louis chapter of the Missouri Restaurant Association and local health groups started a program to help prevent the spread of hepatitis A. According to the Post-Dispatch, the association arranged for restaurant employees to get vaccinations at a discount of $5 per person.

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Though it wasn’t unusual for Darryl Kile to hit a batter with a pitch, the number he plunked in a game against the Cardinals was extraordinary, even for him.

Twenty-five years ago, on June 2, 1996, while with the Astros, Kile hit four Cardinals batters with pitches in a game at St. Louis. Three of the four who were struck figured in the scoring, leading to a Cardinals victory.

Kile was the first National League pitcher to pelt four batters with pitches in one game since the Cubs’ Moe Drabowsky did it exactly 29 years earlier, on June 2, 1957, against the Reds. Boxscore

Breaking bad

The Sunday afternoon game between the Astros and Cardinals at Busch Memorial Stadium matched a pair of right-handers, Kile vs. Todd Stottlemyre.

In the second inning, Kile plunked the leadoff batter, Ray Lankford. He moved to second on Gary Gaetti’s single and scored on John Mabry’s hit.

Gaetti was hit by a pitch in the sixth, but the Cardinals didn’t score.

It was a different story in the eighth. With two outs, none on and the Cardinals clinging to a 1-0 lead, Gaetti and Mabry each singled. The next batter, Danny Sheaffer, hitless in his last 10 at-bats, was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. It was the first time in three years Sheaffer got plunked in a major-league game.

Up next was Luis Alicea, the Cardinals’ hot hitter. Alicea had hit a home run in each of his three previous games. With the bases loaded, he dug in, expecting Kile to throw a strike.

“I wanted to get a good rip at it,” Alicea told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I was disappointed because I didn’t even have a chance.”

Kile hit Alicea with a pitch, scoring Gaetti from third and giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.

“I was just trying to make too good a pitch,” Kile told the Associated Press.

Kile said he hit three batters with curveballs. Regarding the two he plunked in the eighth, Kile said, “You just can’t do stuff like that.”

The Astros got a runner to second base with two outs in the ninth, but Stottlemyre got Craig Biggio to pop out to shortstop Royce Clayton, completing the shutout win. Boxscore

Batters beware

Kile hit a league-high 16 batters with pitches in 1996. It was the second time he led the league in most batters hit by pitches. The other was when he plunked 15 in 1993.

After being acquired by the Cardinals in November 1999, Kile twice led the club in most batters hits by pitches (13 in 2000 and eight in 2002) and placed second in 2001 (11).

In 12 years in the majors, Kile hit 117 batters with pitches. By comparison, Bob Gibson, who had a reputation as an intimidator, hit 102 batters with pitches in 17 years. Gibson is the Cardinals franchise leader in that category.

The major-league record for most batters hit by pitches is 277 by Gus Weyhing, who pitched from 1887-1901, including part of the 1900 season with the Cardinals.

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Cardinals pitcher Larry Jackson and Dodgers outfielder Duke Snider found out the hard way that bats and balls, like sticks and stones, may break bones.

On March 27, 1961, Jackson suffered a fractured jaw when Snider’s bat splintered and struck Jackson in the face during a spring training game.

Three weeks later, on April 17, 1961, Snider suffered a fractured right elbow when the Cardinals’ Bob Gibson hit him with a pitch during an at-bat in the regular season.

Gibson’s plunking of Snider had more to do with the home run Snider hit in his previous at-bat against Gibson than it did with the accident involving Jackson.

Jackson and Snider recovered from their injuries, and each went on to have a productive season.

Painful outing

Jackson was pitching in his last scheduled inning when Snider came to bat in the exhibition game between the Cardinals and Dodgers at Vero Beach, Fla.

Snider had hit a two-run home run in the first and a two-run double in the third against Jackson. In the sixth, with baserunner Tommy Davis on second, Snider was looking to drive in another run.

Jackson threw a pitch near Snider’s fists. Snider connected, shattering the bat and sending pieces of it flying. The ball hit Jackson on the hip and fell to the ground. As Jackson turned to retrieve it, the heavy end of the bat, whirling rapidly through the air, struck him in the lower left jaw.

“Bleeding from cuts inside his mouth, Jackson fell in a heap in front of the mound, but did not lose consciousness,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

In his book “The Duke of Flatbush,” Snider said, “I felt awful about it, but that’s one of the occupational hazards of pitching.”

Jackson was taken by ambulance to a Vero Beach hospital and given emergency treatment. X-rays showed he had two fractures in the jaw.

Jackson was permitted to return on a chartered flight to St. Petersburg, Fla., where the Cardinals trained. His jaw was wired that night by a surgeon at a St. Petersburg hospital.

Released from the hospital on March 31, Jackson pitched batting practice a few days later. The Cardinals targeted the end of April for his return in a game.

Purpose pitch

After the Cardinals opened the season with wins in three of their first five games, they started Gibson against the Dodgers at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

In the third, Gibson threw a pitch on the outside corner to Snider, a left-handed batter. In the book “From Ghetto to Glory,” Gibson said, “I pitched away to Snider because he was a good pull hitter.”

Snider poked the ball over the screen in left for a two-run home run and a 3-1 Dodgers lead.

The next time Snider came up, in the fifth, “I was still going to pitch him outside,” Gibson said.

Gibson changed his mind when he noticed Snider lean in. “So I threw the next pitch tight to brush him back away from the plate,” Gibson said.

Snider barely saw the fastball. “It came right at me,” Snider said. “It was headed for my ribs and I brought up my right arm instinctively to protect my body. The pitch hit my elbow and the ball dropped straight to the ground. It was no glancing blow. It hit me flush.”

Snider advanced to first and was thrown out attempting to steal second.

When he tried to bat again in the seventh, Snider “felt a sharp pain in that right elbow, like someone jabbing a needle in there” and was lifted for a pinch-hitter.

An examination revealed the elbow was fractured.

“I saw Duke after the game,” Gibson said. “I didn’t apologize to him. He knew I was sorry. He knew I wasn’t throwing at him. I was just trying to move him away from the plate, trying to get him to think and not take things for granted up there.”

In the book “We Would have Played For Nothing,” Snider told former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent, “I know that Bob Gibson has told people he never threw at a player on purpose. Bob Gibson is a nice guy, but he stretches the truth a little bit once in a while.” Boxscore

We meet again

Jackson’s absence from the starting rotation the first few weeks of the 1961 season was a significant setback for the Cardinals. The year before, he won 18 and led the National League in innings pitched (282).

A right-hander, Jackson made his first appearance of the 1961 season on April 26, a month after his injury, in a start against the Braves.

He lost his first three decisions, prompting The Sporting News to note, “After subsisting on liquids and soft foods for a month, Jackson showed he needed a few steaks to beef up his pitching.”

Meanwhile, after sitting out a month, Snider returned on May 19 as a pinch-hitter and was back in the Dodgers’ starting lineup on May 22.

Two days later, the Dodgers opened a series at St. Louis. Jackson started Game 1 and faced Snider for the first time since the spring training accident. Snider walked three times, but didn’t get a hit, and Jackson got his first win of the season. Boxscore

The next night, Gibson started and faced Snider for the first time since he suffered the fractured elbow. Snider got a single in four at-bats. Sandy Koufax pitched a three-hitter and Tommy Davis hit a home run in a 1-0 Dodgers triumph. Boxscore

Keep going

On June 26, Jackson lost to the Braves, sinking his record for the season to 3-8. Manager Solly Hemus dropped him from the starting rotation.

Two weeks later, Hemus was fired and Johnny Keane replaced him. Jackson returned to the rotation and won 11 of his next 12 decisions.

“There’s no pitcher in the league right now who’s better than Larry Jackson,” Keane said to the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

Jackson finished the season at 14-11 with three shutouts and 211 innings pitched. He made six starts against the Dodgers and was 1-3. Snider hit .294 versus Jackson in 1961 and .219 for his career.

Snider finished the season with 16 home runs and a .296 batting mark. Against Gibson, Snider hit .300 in 1961 and .212 for his career.

 

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Chuck Dressen thumbed his nose at being tossed.

On June 6, 1951, at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, Dressen, the Dodgers’ manager, was ejected in the fifth inning for complaining about ball and strike calls while Peanuts Lowrey batted for the Cardinals.

After plate umpire Artie Gore motioned for Dressen to take a hike, the manager stormed out of the dugout, kicked dirt around the plate and gesticulated wildly.

The performance ended when Dressen departed down the dugout steps, but it was just the first act in an afternoon of theatrics.

Costume party

According to the New York Daily News, Dressen went “to the cubicle beneath the stands, where it is possible to do a little bootleg managing.”

Unsatisfied with that arrangement, Dressen dreamed up a different scheme. According to The Sporting News, Dressen put on a groundskeeper’s cap and jacket and slipped into a corner of the Dodgers’ dugout, hoping he wouldn’t be noticed. He was about to pick up a rake to enhance the disguise when Cardinals manager Marty Marion spotted him and informed Gore.

“Marty turned me in when I was giving out instructions from the dugout,” Dressen told The Sporting News.

After being ordered by Gore to leave the dugout, Dressen headed for the clubhouse, but he wasn’t done.

Sitting pretty

In the seventh inning, Dressen, wearing street clothes, positioned himself in a box seat next to the Dodgers’ dugout on the first-base side.

Ever vigilant, Marion detected Dressen and again informed Gore. According to Marion, Gore replied, “There is nothing wrong with that, but if you see him doing anything to run the team from there, you let me know and I’ll chase him,” the New York Daily News reported.

Marion saw shortstop Pee Wee Reese, the Dodgers’ captain, go over to Dressen’s seat.

“Dressen was giving the signs and motioned for Reese to get some pitchers warmed up,” Marion told The Sporting News. “He was making a joke of the game.”

When Marion advised Gore what he had seen, Gore told Dressen to leave. Dressen watched the rest of the game from team owner Walter O’Malley’s private perch under the mezzanine behind home plate.

Asked whether he was giving instructions to Reese, Dressen “grinned and said he wasn’t that dumb,” the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported.

“I just told Pee Wee to find out from Gore what Marion was complaining about,” Dressen said. “I wouldn’t try to relay signs right out there in the open.”

According to the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Dressen said he sat in the box seat at the request of a photographer. Dressen told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle the photos were for a shoe polish ad.

Some nerve

The Dodgers won, 3-2. Roy Campanella drove in all the Dodgers’ runs and Ralph Branca pitched a complete game. Boxscore

Marion protested the game on the grounds that Dressen broke the rules when he didn’t stay away after being ejected in the fifth inning.

National League president Ford Frick fined Dressen $100 for “failure to leave the bench when ejected and for masquerading in the dugout,” but denied the protest.

Miffed that Marion turned him in to Gore, Dressen told The Sporting News, “If I ever get the chance, you can bet I’ll pour it on him good. I don’t appreciate what he did to me.”

Nearly 50 years later, on June 9, 1999, in a night game against the Blue Jays, Mets manager Bobby Valentine returned to the dugout disguised in sunglasses and a fake moustache after being ejected. Valentine said he was fined $5,000 and suspended for two games for the prank. Video

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