My Favorite Baseball Trivia Question
Years ago, before the internet, there was something called sports trivia, where the cognoscenti of each particular sport showed off the depth of their obscure knowledge by asking questions that where nearly impossible to answer because of the passage of time. Today, Javier Baez stole home plate for the first time by a Cubs player in the World Series since Jimmy Slagle did it in the 4th game of the 1907 World Series.
Anyway, that reminds me of my all-time favorite baseball trivia question back in the day when you could utterly stump someone with a really good one: Whose passed ball on a strikeout pitch with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning allowed the Cubs to tie the score at 3-3 in the first game of the 1907 World Series? The game ended in a draw on account of darkness. The Cubs went on to sweep the series in the next four games.
The Answer: Charles “Boss” Schmidt. (There isn’t much point in holding back a response to build up the attention, since you could go to baseball reference or wikipedia and find the answer in less time than would take to read a few hundred more words.)
Schmidt was one of the great goats of the early years of the World Series, but he his almost entirely forgotten today. Schmidt played in all three Detroit Tigers’ World Series appearances from 1907-1909, but unfortunately the Tigers lost all three. He had a long career in baseball, though, playing until his age 43 season.
For what it’s worth, Schmidt’s misplay was treated as an error in 1907, but would be considered a passed ball today.