Friday, September 02, 2005

September 2nd, 1918

Nick Altrock Homers

Nick Altrock was a pitcher with a sixteen year career who hit--in toto--two home runs in his career. The first was in 1904 when he was a twenty-seven year old member of the White Sox. The second was in 1918. Altrock had only come to the plate three times since 1912, making his home run seemingly an awesome feat. In this case, however, there is a story, but it is not one based in great accomplishment.

By 1918, Altrock was a coach for the Senators and part of a baseball comedy team with baseball original Clown Prince, Al Schacht. The Senators traditionally ended their season with a joke game and the second half of this double-header was no exception. Altrock entered the game as a relief pitcher in the eighth. When his turn at-bat came around, the A's brought in Wickey McAvoy--a catcher at first base that day--to 'pitch' to Altrock. With McAvoy lobbing balls in, Altrock managed to finally connect with one and knock, relatively speaking, the ball into the outfield. Altrock ambled around the bases, missing both second and third by some accounts, and completed his inside-the-park 'home run.'

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