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Saddest moments in baseball

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  • #16
    I gotta cheat and combine a few sad things.

    1. That Cobb/Ruth were denied the chance to stay in BB managing until they got too old.

    2. The Historical Color Ban - which denied such greats as Paige, Gibson, Mackey, Lloyd, Santop, Smokey Joe Williams, Joe Rogan, etc. from showcasing their skills at the ML level.


    Honorable Mentions:
    The various problems which deprived the following from fulfilling their careers:
    Joe Jackson, Sisler, Wood, Score, Koufax, Dean, Delahanty, Cochrane, Marty Bergen, Campanella, Sam McDowell, JR Richards, Charlie Bennett, Thurman Munson, Gehrig, Josh Gibson.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-21-2005, 11:41 PM.

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    • #17
      I might be a little biased...but

      "The Seattle Mariners still haven't even GONE to the world series" LOL

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      • #18
        Other than August 16, 1948... I gotta go with this gent:


        "So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for."
        Attached Files

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        • #19
          Ray Chapman's death and the tragedy that followed his familiy afterward.

          The Negro League players never got to play MLB is sad, but they did have a stage to display their wares, albeit not agonst the major leaguer, but would barnstorm against them at times.

          Lou Gerhig's situation was very sad and has been immortalized by the movie, and was a personal tragedy.

          All strikes are bad, but the one in 1994 almost ruined baseball and was a big part of the demise of the Expos.
          http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/ex...eline_1961.jpg

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          • #20
            What about Roberto Clemente's tragic death in a plane crash while delivering relief supplies to earthquake victims.

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            • #21
              Clemente is an excellent one that I wouldn't have remembered without prodding. The fact that he was doing something to help people in serious need makes this #1 for me.
              I would also argue that Gehrig and Ruth's farewells at Yankee Stadium were both very poignant. Even though Ruth looked very old at his, he wasn't that old, and I think that both players and fans were shocked and saddened by his appearance.
              I'm thinking of Ruth's last appearance in uniform, memory is now reminding me that may not have been his last appearance in the park.
              "Ruth stepped into that cauldron of sound that he knew better than any other man..." (paraphrase)
              "I throw him four wide ones, then try to pick him off first base." - Preacher Roe on pitching to Musial

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              • #22
                1. the slowness of gehrig's death.
                2. the suddeness of clemente's.
                "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury

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                • #23
                  1-Gehrig
                  2-Clemente
                  "H"M-Pete Rose

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Jake83
                    94 Stike none of these others compare
                    Agreed.. the homerun chase.... Tony Gwynn nearly getting to 400 etc etc.... yeah definately the saddest moment in baseball.

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                    • #25
                      I'll go for something a bit different, something that not itself was a sad moment, but a dramatic response to the saddest day in our country's history.After the 9/11 attacks, all MLB, NFL, most major college games were cancelled that week, along with all commercial airline flights, the NYSE and most other places where a large amount of people may gather. On 9/17, when MLB resumed, a very frail Jack Buck, the voice of the Cardinals, read a poem he wrote for the occasion as ceremonies were held on the field before the Cards game to honor the memory of those who perished in the attack. Jack, a decorated WW2 vet, was in very bad shape from Parkinsons, he would enter the hospital around Christmas with cancer and died the following June, but his eloquence with his stirring words were inspirational. I'm sure if you do a Google on it you can find it. To briefly paraphrase, he spoke of how America shouldn't cower in fear and that we will defeat these evil people. I got to hear many great moments from Jack Buck doing baseball and football, but nothing was better than this.
                      It Might Be? It Could Be?? It Is!

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                      • #26
                        Dave Dravecky's situation was pretty sad. Inspiring, how he tried to come back after getting cancer, but very sad in the horrible way the comeback ended.

                        Also sad: Donnie Moore's suicide (or Pulliam's, or any suicide, for that matter); and Lyman Bostock getting murdered. Marty Bergen's murder of his wife and kids before killing himself, was also pretty tragic.
                        "Hey Mr. McGraw! Can I pitch to-day?"

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Victory Faust
                          Dave Dravecky's situation was pretty sad. Inspiring, how he tried to come back after getting cancer, but very sad in the horrible way the comeback ended.

                          Also sad: Donnie Moore's suicide (or Pulliam's, or any suicide, for that matter); and Lyman Bostock getting murdered. Marty Bergen's murder of his wife and kids before killing himself, was also pretty tragic.
                          Not familar with the Marty Bergen thing, never heard of him, any details VF?
                          It Might Be? It Could Be?? It Is!

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                          • #28
                            The day after Thurmon Munson died we walked into the AB&G as usual and the difference was that daySweet Lou was sitting alone at a back table , hunched over and utterly alone. I have never felt for anyone as much as I did for him that day.

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                            • #29
                              Introducing Martin Bergen,
                              Born: October 25, 1871, North Brookfield, Mass
                              Died: January 19, 1900, North Brookfield, Mass., age 28
                              Red Sox catcher, 1896 - 1899, 5'10", 170, BL/TL

                              William B. Hanna, Oct., 1956? - Nov. 20, 1930; NY sportswriter, 1888-1930
                              Bennett was great as a backstop. So were Johnny Kling, Lou Criger, Martin Bergen, Jimmy Archer, Billy Sullivan and Bill Killefer, and Doe Bushong. So are Schalk, O'Neill, Severeid, Bassler and O'Farrell, the last named one of the best of the day for all around excellence.

                              None has made the intaglio-like impress of Ewing. (Baseball Magazine, June, 1924, pp. 300)

                              Marty was listed on the All-Time All-Star Teams of Roger Bresnahan in 1936 and Hugh Duffy's in 1936, along with Mike "King" Kelly.
                              --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              Tonight, I'd like to tell the story of Martin Bergen. It's a very interesting tale, but I warn you, it's a very sad story. A very good man, who killed. It's a story long forgotten, yet one I feel is worth remembering. A good man who fought the scourge of mental illness. May I present:

                              The Sad Story of Marty Bergen.
                              Chicago Daily Tribune, January 20, 1900, pp. 5
                              CRIME OF A BALLPLAYER

                              Martin Bergen of Boston Team Kills Self and Family

                              Slays Wife and Two Children at North Brookfield, Mass., While Insane--Uses Ax and Razor--Was A Great Catcher in National League--His Strange Actions During Last Season Caused Comment Among His Fellows.


                              Boston, Mass., Jan. 19.--[Special.]--Martin Bergen, the famous catcher of the Boston Baseball club, murdered his entire family, consisting of his wife and two children, and then killed himself, at their residence, two miles from the village of North Brookfield, Mass., some time during last night.
                              Bergen's father, who lived with him for a long time, had been away for several days. This morning he returned to the farm, and on entering the house found his son Martin stretched on the floor with the little daughter, Florence, by his side, with their throats cut. On the table was a razor, which explained the implement with which the father and child had met their deaths. For a few minutes the old man was so overcome he could only sink down in his weakness. After a little, however, he recovered strength to make further investigation, and on entering the bedroom of the mother he found her lifeless body across the bed, with her little son Martin almost in her arms. The life had long before left them.

                              The aged man hurried to the house of a neighbor and the alarm was spread. No one knows exactly just how it all happened, but it is evident from the way things were found at the Bergen residence the ball player was suddenly seized during the night with an insane frenzy, and jumping from the sofa on which he had been sleeping he rushed into his wife's bedroom, where he killed her and their son with the blunt back of an ax.

                              He evidently cut the throat of the little girl, Florence, and completed the tragedy by taking his own life with the razor, which he threw on the table as he fell to die on the kitchen floor. All four bodies were in their night clothes, showing that the deed had been committed some time after the family retired last evening and before breakfast this morning.

                              Acts Indicated Insanity

                              For a long time Bergen has been acting in a strange manner, but many attributed his actions during the last season as simply due to his eccentricity. These who knew him best, however, always said that there was something wrong with Martin's head.

                              He had been especially despondent at times since the death of his little son George, which took place during the summer. Since then he has not been like himself, but never showed the slightest tendency to violence. His insanity was shown by his great despondency at times and his difficulty to get along with people with whom he had daily business.

                              His one dream of life was to make a home for his family they might be proud of, and that after he had retired from the ball field and the cheers of the thousands he could live there in contentment.

                              Well Liked in Village

                              His first idea of a farm in the country was to secure a home for his aged father, who understood the work of a farm. The father had quite an influence over Martin, and the son held his father in high esteem. Among the people of the village he was considered an ideal citizen. Everybody had a good word and a kind tribute to pay to his energies. He was known by everybody and everybody liked to stop him on the village street and have a chat with him. It was when he got among ball players he seemed to lose the gentle nature which pervaded him when he was among the people of his own village.

                              The tragedy of today ends the life of one of the best ball players who ever stood behind the plate.

                              Strange Acts In Boston

                              President Soden of the Boston club tonight said he was well aware Bergen had absolutely no control of himself at times, for Bergen himself told him that when asked to explain his absences from the team. Bergen told Mr. Soden that at times he would be seized with an uncontrollable impulse to go home, and when the impulse came on him he would not say a work to any one, but just go. When the club was to go away on a trip there was no telling whether Bergen would be on hand or not, and on more than one occasion he left the club during a trip. It was on account of the belief the player could not control himself every allowance was made for him.

                              Bergen was such a superb player that his shortcomings were overlooked, as they would not be in any other case. When the difference arose last season between Bergen and his fellow players, and the players said they would not play under him, the directors stood by Bergen, well knowing that he was wholly irresponsible and unable to control his actions.

                              Manager Selee was astonished when he heard of the tragedy. He said he had no serious trouble with Bergen, and considered him a tractable man. Even when the player absented himself from the team, which was as often as to cause comment, there were no words when he returned, and the relations with the players would be resumed exactly where they left off.

                              The winter baseball colony in Chicago was shocked at the news of Martin Bergen's act. Yet the impression was general among National league players that he Boston catcher was not quite "right." His peculiar actions during the last playing season had been extensively commented on in the newspapers, and it then had been charged that Bergen was slightly insane.

                              Players of other clubs had noted the morose disposition of the man. In 1898 Bergen was the best catcher in the National league, and his gingery work behind the bat did a great deal to win the pennant for the Boston team that season. Last year there was a slight falling off in Bergen's play; he was unlucky at times, and had a bad season. He frequently told visiting players he did not have a friend on the Boston team, and his refusal to associate with his fellow-players was the subject of comment.

                              "It's too bad," said Catcher Donahue of the Chicago Club. "Bergen was a good fellow at heart, but he was a victim of imagination, and while I never expected anything of this kind I am not surprised at it after all." (Chicago Daily Tribune, January 20, 1900, pp. 5)

                              Afternotes: His Career on the Diamond:
                              Bergen's professional career was begun with the Wilkes-Barre Club of the Eastern League in 1893, but later on he was sold to the Pittsburgh Club, of the National League. In 1894 he was with the Lewiston Club, of the New England League. At the close of that season the Washington Club, of the National League, and the Kansas City Club, of the Western League, laid claim to him, but the national board decided in favor of the latter, and Bergen remained with Manager Manning's team until his release was secured by the Boston Club in September, 1895, in exchange for Shortstop Connaughton and a bonus of $4,000. He was not in good shape in 1896 to do himself justice, but in 1897 he caught in nearly all the championship games in first-class style.

                              Bergen was one of the greatest catchers that ever donned a mask. Possessed of an arm of steel, he snapped the ball around the infield like a shot, and was regarded as the equal of Buck Ewing in point of throwing ability. He was well-nigh perfect on foul flies, and a timely, reliable batsman. He has a younger brother, Bill, also a backstop, and a promising young player. Bergen was a strict Roman Catholic, temperate and frugal, and managed to save quite a snug income from his earnings as a catcher. (Washington Post, January 20, 1900, pp. 1)
                              -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                              Marty Bergen's Gold Glove Estimates, According to Mathew Souder's PCA stat system:

                              1896 - 1
                              1897 - 2 (Warner)
                              1898 - 3 (Criger)
                              1899 - 6 (Bowerman)
                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              Bill Burgess
                              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-31-2005, 11:08 AM.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by [email protected]
                                --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Tonight, I'd like to tell the story of Martin Bergen. It's a very interesting tale, but I warn you, it's a very sad story. A very good man, who killed. It's a story long forgotten, yet one I feel is worth remembering. A good man who fought the scourge of mental illness. May I present:

                                The Sad Story of Marty Bergen.
                                Chicago Daily Tribune, January 20, 1900, pp. 5
                                Well, I gotta admit, that's one sad story.h
                                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-31-2005, 10:43 AM.
                                It Might Be? It Could Be?? It Is!

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