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June 9, 2015

The Oldest Trick in the Book

In 1989, Ozzie Guillen was the victim of a hidden ball trick twice.

The hidden-ball trick is almost as old as baseball itself.
It has been said to date back to Harry and George Wright of the 1869 Red Stockings, but 19th century baseball expert Peter Morris scoffs at the notion of that team resorting to such deceptive ruses. Another source credits National Association utilityman Tom Barlow with the innovation. The earliest HBT I have documented occurred on May 20, 1872, in a Philadelphia–Baltimore NA game; it was described as an “old trick” as early as 1876. In any case, it dates back more than 140 years, and has happened to end games and to complete triple plays. It once resulted in two arrests, another time cost a Hall of Famer a managing job, and it even happened in a World Series. With TV monitors in the clubhouses and professional coaches at the bases, the play was still pulled off twice in 2013. « Our Game

Posted by gerardvanderleun at June 9, 2015 10:34 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Its always fun to watch, at least

Posted by: Christopher Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 9, 2015 11:26 AM

Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner could not be reached for comment.


Posted by: Lands’nGrooves [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 9, 2015 11:28 AM

As a first baseman in both baseball and softball, I've gotten the HBT to work a number of times, probably on average of once every other season. In 50+ years of playing ball, that's about a whole game's worth of outs. It's harder in baseball--the players usually pay more attention (except for Ozzie), and I can remember only pulling it off once back then, but in softball, especially after an opposing runner may have had a fermented beverage or two, it gets a lot easier.

Posted by: waltj [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 9, 2015 12:10 PM

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