Saturday, November 27, 2010

Manhattan's Last Game

The man who threw the final major league pitch in Brooklyn just passed away: Danny McDevitt, who pitched a complete game victory for the Dodgers in their last home game of the 1957 season, before the franchise relocated to Los Angeles. But a Met fan might ask, what about the last major league pitch in Manhattan?

The very fine Phillies' pitcher Chris Short threw a complete game victory over the Mets in the last major league game at the Polo Grounds in upper Manhattan on September 18, 1963, at the end of an era (Beatles songs were first heard in the US about the same time, and President Kennedy was assassinated two months later). The box score and play-by-play for this game are here:

Short's last pitch was a line drive double-play ball to end the game, off the bat of Mets' pinch-hitter Ted Schreiber. Schreiber (whose only major league experience was his 11 starts as an infielder, and 28 other games in which he appeared briefly, with the Mets that season) was a New York City guy, born in Brooklyn and a graduate of that borough's James Madison High School, where he would have been a few years behind my mother. He went to college at St. John's in Queens, and after his baseball career taught for many years at a public school in Brooklyn, while living in Staten Island. Seems somehow appropriate that a Brooklyn/Queens/Staten Island guy brought the curtain down on major league baseball in Manhattan. For Ted's biography, check here:

As for Chris Short, the only pitchers with more career Wins (or Wins Above Replacement, if you prefer the more sophisticated sabermetric measure) as a Phillie are three core Hall-of-Famers Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts and Pete Alexander.

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