Today in Cubs history: Jimmy Slagle is the victim of the hidden ball trick

The “hidden ball trick” used to be one thing fielders in the early days of baseball beloved to tug on unsuspecting baserunners. Basically, the fielder would cross to the mound for a convention, the fielders would acquire round the pitcher so the ball wasn’t visual, the ball would return to the base with the fielder, who would then tag a runner who wandered off base.

It doesn’t occur a lot in fashionable baseball — according to Wikipedia, the ultimate time used to be in 2013 — however in the previous days, when gamers have been in all probability just a little much less conscious of what used to be happening round them and fielders have been just a little extra in subterfuge, it took place fairly just a little.

This 2015 article by way of MLB historian John Thorn on his “Our Game” weblog is an excerpt from Bill Deane’s guide about the hidden ball trick titled “Finding the Hidden-Ball Trick: The Colorful History of Baseball’s Oldest Ruse.” The guide says the trick has been executed 264 occasions at the MLB stage.

Here are the stipulations that must be in position for the “trick” to paintings:

1. Play can’t be ‘dead,’ i.e., time is no longer ‘out’;

2. The pitcher can’t be touching or straddling the pitching rubber;

3. The umpire must be alerted or paying consideration;

4. A bonehead runner will have to be prepared to take a lead off a bag sooner than the pitcher ft the slab; and

5. The bonehead runner’s teammates and base coaches all must be asleep, as smartly.

All of the ones issues, it appears, have been in position throughout Game 2 of the 1907 World Series between the Cubs and Tigers. The groups had fought to a 3-3, 12-inning tie in Game 1, one of most effective 3 tie video games in World Series historical past.

The play took place in the first inning. Jimmy Slagle walked, stole 2d and complex to 3rd on a throwing error. One out later, Tigers 3rd baseman Bill Coughlin pulled it off:

“Slagle was passed, stole second and got to third on [catcher Freddie] Payne’s wild throw, but was caught napping on the ‘hide-the-ball’ trick, Schaefer to Coughlin.” The 1908 version of Spalding’s Official Base Ball Guide stated “Coughlin working that ancient and decrepit trick of the ‘hidden ball’ got ‘Rabbit’ Slagle as he stepped off the third sack.” According to creator Stephen D. Boren, Schaefer stuck a pop fly, then joined Coughlin in a convention with Mullin, throughout which Coughlin secreted the ball underneath his arm. After the tag, umpire Hank O’Day yelled, “You’re out. Where did the ball come from?”

The Cubs received the recreation anyway, 3-1, and took the subsequent 3 to transform World Series champions for the first time, a feat they might repeat the subsequent yr, after which, as you realize, no longer once more till 2016.

The Tigers pulled off the hidden ball trick towards Jimmy Slagle and the Cubs 115 years in the past lately at West Side Grounds, Wednesday, October 9, 1907.

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