As intrigued as I
was by Steve Rushin's A Bottomless Cup of Coffee about his grandfather's
all-too-brief major league baseball career (Air and Space, April 17), it made
me think of a player whose official stay in the Show was even shorter than that
of Jimmie Boyle's. In 1971 Houston's Larry Yount--Robin's older brother--was
brought into a game as a relief pitcher, which qualified him for inclusion in
The Baseball Encyclopedia. While warming up on the mound at the Astrodome, he
blew out his arm. He never threw an official pitch and never again made it up
to the majors.
Neil Rothenberg, Piedmont, Calif.
How about the guy
who played in one major league game but who had never played baseball? I'm
referring to Eddie Gaedel, the dwarf who pinch-hit for the St. Louis Browns in
1951 as a Bill Veeck gimmick. It was a stunt, but is duly recorded in The
Pete Lincoln, Lunenburg, Mass.
I enjoyed Rushin's
waxing nostalgic about his grandfather's one-inning major league cup of coffee
in 1926. I'm hoping a current ballplayer gets a refill. Cubs pinch hitter Adam
Greenberg--in his big league debut last July in Miami, with his parents in the
stands--was beaned in the back of the head on the first pitch he saw. He was
dizzy for weeks, put on the DL and, although he returned to the minors, has yet
to make it back to the Show. He didn't even get an official at bat. Life's not
fair, but that's a lousy cup of coffee. I hope he gets a second shot--and makes
the ball pay.
Shamus Toomey, Evanston, Ill.
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