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Unluckiest Man in Baseball History

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  • #16
    Originally posted by RuthMayBond
    I thought I included Munson in my list (unless someone else got him first). He was extremely unlucky, but it also depends upon what level his pilot skills were.
    True, I agree with you. I'm just saying, Munson was less unlucky than Delahanty... at least when you're flying a plane, you know that it's at least a realistic possibility that you'll crash. When you're drinking on a train, I don't think you feel that there's any possibility whatsoever that you'll get kicked off the train and fall off a bridge.
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

    Sean McAdam,


    • #17
      How about J. R. Richard? Or the Devil rays pitcher (Tony Saunders?) who broke his arm TWICE while pitching...



      • #18
        Lou Gehrig not only died from ALS while still having some great years left, he lived in the shadow of The Babe for most of his career. The one time he would have beaten Ruth for the home run title, he was called out for passing a previous runner. When he hit four homers in a game, the next day's headlines read,"McGraw Retires".


        • #19
          Sticking with on the field stuff, I'd have to say turn-of-the-century pitcher Ned Garvin. It seems this guy is the patron saint of hard-luck hurlers. The poor guy just couldn't buy a win, no matter how outstanding his moundwork was.
          A swing--and a smash--and a gray streak partaking/Of ghostly manoeuvres that follow the whack;/The old earth rebounds with a quiver and quaking/And high flies the dust as he thuds on the track;/The atmosphere reels--and it isn't the comet--/There follows the blur of a phantom at play;/Then out from the reel comes the glitter of steel--/And damned be the fellow that gets in the way.                 A swing and a smash--and the far echoes quiver--/A ripping and rearing and volcanic roar;/And off streaks the Ghost with a shake and a shiver,/To hurdle red hell on the way to a score;/A cross between tidal wave, cyclone and earthquake--/Fire, wind and water all out on a lark;/Then out from the reel comes the glitter of steel,/Plus ten tons of dynamite hitched to a spark.

          --Cobb, Grantland Rice


          • #20
            Unluckiest man in baseball history...

            Many players could fit the general idea. But if you really want to talk baseball and only baseball, it has to be Ray Chapman. First I do not know of any other player ever leaving the batter's box with only 2 strikes. This story is among others related in "Baseball anecdotes" byD. Okrent and S. Wulf. p.90 " Earlier in the same season in which he would be killed by a pitch thrown by Carl Mays, Cleveland's Ray Chapman was facing Walter Johnson. When the pitcher quickly brought the count to two strikes, Chapman left the batter's box for the dugout. Reminded by Umpire Billy Evans that he had one strike left, Chapman said, "You can have it. It wouldn't do me any good." Evans declared Chapman out..."

            It is as if that one pitch was looking for him...
            "Mr. Rickey, do you want a ball player who's affraid to fight back?" Jackie Robinson.

            " I want a ball player with guts enough NOT to fight back". Branch Rickey


            • #21
              bad luck on your quest!

              Delahanty was thrown off the train by RR thug employees as it passed over Niagara Falls, a bit upriver. One minute drunk, next heading over the roaring edge into the chasm of death itself. that's not bad luck, it's victim of evil.

              Eddie Waitkis was the guy shot by a female stalker, I don't know anymore than that.

              J.R. Richard had a stroke partly from doing cocaine, they said.

              Thurman Munson wasn't qualified to be practicing the type of landings he was practicing when he killed himself. flying w/o a license, really.

              Chapman was manslaughtered, not bad luck. Mays was known for throwing at guys, so ugly a fellow he was unpopular on his own team. he surely didn't mean to kill him, but...

              disabled by hbp isn't clearly luck, because people pitch inside and hit by intent and pitches get away from people. hit in the eye socket by a line drive is bad luck, because no batter could aim that well, has to be an accident. Herb Score would be the worst case there.

              Fosse was blocking the plate. if the play wasn't important enough for Rose to crash him, it wasn't important enough for Fosse to block the plate. Neither one had much choice, especially with the huge audience and the game on the line. what were they going to do? get out of the way? stop in the basepath or slide into shinguards? Pete always came in headfirst. that wasn't luck, that was just baseball.

              Haddix losing his perfect game to another player's error comes to mind, but errors are part of the game, so not luck really.

              Gehrig wasn't unlucky. everyone in history has played in Ruth's shadow. Gehrig has fared amazingly well considering he hit 4th behind the guy and still stands #1 on everyone's all-time list. He was very lucky not to break a leg for 2130 games! DiMaggio was lucky to go half a season with only one game when he hit it at somebody 4 times.

              bad luck has to be a fluke. injuries and intoxication and intentional human acts aren't really luck-related. luck is a fluke, like drawing 4 aces, or getting drunk before work and coming in an hour late, seeing an airliner hit your floor, like the one guy on 9-11. one of the greatest benefits of getting drunk I've ever seen.
              Why you do this to me, Dimi?


              • #22
                How about the great Bill Lange, who chose love over baseball and ended up with neither?
                "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
                "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe


                • #23

                  your own definition nullifies your post.

                  he took someone's life.
                  he did not intend to = manslaughter, according to you.

                  fits the situation and my post perfectly.

                  and you can't even see a "remote, obscure" fit!!!

                  If Gibson, Drysdale and Marichal had killed a batter, they'd have different reputations today. Should have, anyway.

                  If I were you, I wouldn't "always" take any position. that's knee-jerk and unthinking. You need to think more deeply on things.
                  Last edited by Bushrod; 06-20-2004, 10:31 PM. Reason: add info
                  Why you do this to me, Dimi?


                  • #24
                    Off the top of my head, any backup to Lou Gherig or Cal Ripken :grouchy


                    • #25
                      Not to be flippant (I realise that death and serious injury are more tragic than never getting into a game), but how about Larry Yount?

                      First, being the brother of a Hall-of-Famer can't have been that much fun, but for the coup-de-grace, he injured himself while warming up for his only major league appearance, meaning that he never actually threw a pitch in a major league game. That's pretty unlucky!

                      Then there's Oscar Charleston, Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, Pop Lloyd, etc., who never got to play in the majors, either...


                      • #26
                        Steve Olin and Tim Crews. Pretty unlucky what happened to them, also pretty stupid to be boating at night while drinking.
                        WAR? Prove it!

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                        • #27
                          One could make a case for George Muir, the traveling secretary for the Cleveland Spiders in 1899. Just before the season, the Spiders' owners bought the St. Louis club and shipped all of Cleveland's best players there, turning the Spiders into the worst team in major league history. Bill James called it "baseball's greatest disgrace. The 1919 White Sox sold out the big series. The Cleveland owners sold out the whole season."

                          This meant he got stuck with perhaps the worst single-season job in the history of major league baseball - he had to watch every single game the Spiders played that season, and couldn't do anything about their play.


                          • #28
                            Two momements in Spokane Indian History

                            I am suprised no one, at least on this thread, has mentioned the most devasting momement in PROFESSIONAL SPORTS HISTORY! Then again it did happen a long time ago to a minor league team. It was June 24, 1946: A Washington Motor Coach Company bus, carrying player-manager Mel Cole and 15 of his Indians players to Bremerton, breaks through a guardrail on Snoqualmie Pass and tumbles hundreds of feet down a steep ravine. The bus bursts into flames, and nine men die as a result of the crash. The accident remains the worst in American pro sports history. (according to spokesman-review's 100th anneverserary of the Indians). Everyone on that bus was pretty unlucky, seeing as the driver knew the bus was bad, and that he was going to get a new one at the stopping point! No neglegence was involved in that accident, just some bad luck.

                            Another pretty unlucky person few would know about, unless you were a dedicated Spokane Indians fan, is the story of a very unlucky pitcher who never got his day in the big leagues. It was July 20, 1903: Ernie Nichols, a 22-year-old pro rookie from San Francisco, drops dead during an off-day outing to the Natatorium park amusement park. he had been sensation, posting a 20-4 record with the season barely half over. (same source as above) He was only 22 and closing in on an unbeatable record, but never made it to the big leagues. What could've been just sends shivers down my spine. A 20-4 record with the season a little over half done, the guy was great, and only could've gotten better not yet in his prime.

                            These two events are very unlucky momements in baseball history, and I thought people should know, as few know about the Spokane Indians.


                            • #29
                              Unluckiest Man

                              A candidate for unluckiest player would have to be Robin Yount's brother, Larry. In 1971 he was a relief pitcher when he was called upon to warm up before making his major league debut. While warming up he suffered an injury and never came close to the majors again. His career stats are 1 game with no innings pitched.


                              • #30

                                Just trying to revive an old thread


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