During a White Sox game in Chicago a squirrel ran on the field and there was a short delay getting him off the field. Years ago because of the way ballparks were built a dog might run on the field. Everybody it seemed didn’t want a dog to watch a baseball game because he didn’t pay admission.
There was once told the story about a rookie umpire from the North that was umpiring a game in Georgia. A dog ran on the field with no one being able to catch him. The rookie umpire yelled something at the dog which ran off the field and never came back. The umpire had yelled at the dog, “Sherman is coming.” The umpire was not too popular in Georgia.
Animals have played an important part of our national past time. Special Activity Night at some Minor League parks featured ball players trying to catch a greased pig and they never did. A cow milking contest was interesting as many ball players could actually milk a cow!
Animal nicknames would surface for ball players. A few were Frank “Pig” House, Harry “The Cat” Brecheen, “Rabbit” Maranville, Clark “Old Fox” Griffith, and Lewis “Old Dog” Ritter. The most popular was Moose such as, Bill “Moose” Skowron, Walter “Moose” Dropo, and Julius “Moose” Solters. One of the best known was Pepper “The Wild Horse of The Osage” Martin.
Birds even came into the picture with Mike “Turkey” Donlin, George “Birdie” Tebbetts, George “White Wings” Tebeau and Mario “Chick” Pieretti. There were insects “Skeeter” Newsome, Art “Bugs” Raymond, John “Spider” Jorgenson, and James “Grasshopper Jim” Whitney. The sea got mentioned with Jesse “Crab” Burkett, Tom
“Oyster” Burns, and Marty “The Octopus” Marion. There were many more that I fail to mention.
Many years ago Victor “Deacon” Delmore who became a National League umpire 1956-1959 was pitching a game in the Kitty League. A rabbit ran on the field and the “Deacon” threw a ball at the rabbit and missed. The opposition manager yelled at the runner on second base to run if he did that again and time wasn’t called. The rabbit appeared again and “Deacon” threw the ball and hit him this time. The ball caromed to the third baseman and he tagged out the base runner. The umpire made his call, “You are out by a hare!”
And that’s the way fans saw it during the “good ol’ days of baseball.”
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