How Connie Mack Beat a Hall of Famer With Horsesh*t

March 27, 2012

Big Ed Walsh was a baseball superstar. The Chicago White Sox pitcher dominated American League hitters early in the 20th century. In 1908, as he mastered the spitball, he went from solid to spectacular. His final numbers for the year: 40-15 with 1.42 ERA (He’s the last pitcher to win 40 games in a season). He pitched an amazing 464 innings. His workload decreased the next year, but he bounced back with an insane 0.82 WHIP in 1910 and 27 win seasons in 1911 and 1912.

The secret to his success was his incredible spitball. As Tiger Hall of Famer “Wahoo” Sam Crawford would note years later, “I think that ball would disintegrated on the way to the plate, and the catcher put it back together again. I swear, when it went past the plate, it was just the spit that went by.” Big Ed was plenty confident about his best pitch too. “”When I’ve got the spitter breaking right, I can beat any ball club in the world. No use trying to bat against it. It’s simply unhittable.”

But Ed pitched an average of 375 innings from 1907-1912, and the innings started to take their toll. After the 1912 season, he asked Charles Comiskey if he could take a year off to rest the arm. I don’t need to tell you what one of the most despicable owners in the history of sports had to say about that. And so Big Ed was back on the mound to start the 1913 season.

The Philadelphia A’s were at their peak then, in the midst of winning 3 pennants in 4 years. But Connie Mack was sick of losing 1-0 games to Big Ed, and he looked for a way to beat the spitball. He found it in a strange intricacy of Walsh’s spitball. Ed cut out the middle man, and just licked the ball.

Back in those days, the home team supplied the game balls. So Mack had his ball boy run to a nearby stable and grab a bucket of horsesh*t. Mack then had all of the game balls rubbed in horse manure.

The game started, and Walsh began his normal routine. It didn’t take long for Walsh to realize that something was wrong. “I vomited all over the place,” Walsh would say later about that game. Walsh was infuriated, and lost his cool. He began beaning A’s. The Athletics crushed the White Sox.

Big Ed  was struggling with a dead arm at the time, and the game didn’t do him any favors. After the A’s blasted him again that July, he took the rest of the season off. He was done. He had won 189 games by age 32. He would win 6 more over the rest of his career. One book claimed that the manure game was the turning point of his career, that other teams began using manure and he couldn’t get over it, but that seems highly unlikely. Walsh was in extreme arm pain by 1913, and had considered taking the year off before the manure game even occurred. Nonetheless, the only pitcher to get beaten by horsesh*t was so dominant for those 6 seasons that he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946.

Anyone who has any further info on this story, please let me know. There is very little information on it. I don’t even have a final score on the game (baseball reference doesn’t have winning and losing pitchers for the 1913 season). I first read it in the Incomplete Book of Baseball Superstitions, Rituals, and Oddities, by Mike Blake. I also found some backup in another book called How Baseball Works, and there is a quote from Walsh about it in Baseball’s Most Wanted. But incredibly, there is really no info on this online, and no mention of it in Walsh’s biography. Of course, part of the beauty of old baseball legends is that they are just that: legends. Did the Babe really call his shot? We’ll never know. Which makes it all the more compelling. Same goes for this story, though I would like to learn a bit more about this actual game. -ed.




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Size Charts

Select your brand and style to read more about how your purchase will fit:

American Needle fitted hats | '47 Brand hats | '47 Brand apparel | Majestic apparel | Majestic jerseys | Red Jacket apparel | Junk Food apparel | Next Level apparel (Shibe Originals)

Use these tips as a general guide when finding your measurements:

 

American Needle Fitted Hats

If you do not know your size, first determine where on your head you want to wear your hat. Usually it is worn about a half-inch to an inch above the eyebrows and/or just above the ears. Have a friend hold the tape measure (cloth, plastic, or download a printable version here) at the point where you want the hat to rest on your head.  Insert the tip of your little finger between the tape and your head.  Record the measurement and find your Fitted Hat size using the chart below.  This should provide you with a comfortable fit.

 

'47 Brand Hats

 

47 Brand Adjustable Hats Size Chart Size Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Adjustable Hats Men's 6 7/8 - 7 5/8 55 - 61
Women's 6 5/8 - 7 1/4 53 - 58
Youth 6 5/8 - 7 1/8 53 - 57

 

47 Brand Fitted Hats Size Chart Size Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Fitted Hats XX Small 6 1/2 - 6 5/8 52 - 53
X Small 6 3/4 54
Small 6 7/8 - 7 55 - 56
Medium 7 - 7 1/8 56 - 57
Large 7 1/4 58
X Large 7 3/8 - 7 5/8 59 - 61
XX Large 7 5/8 - 7 3/4 61 - 62
XXX Large 7 7/8 63
XXXX Large 8 64
XXXXX Large 8 1/8 65

 

47 Brand Stretch Fit Hats Size Chart Size Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Stretch Fit Fitted Hats Youth 6 1/2 - 6 5/8 52 - 53
Small / Medium 6 7/8 - 7 55 - 56
Medium / Large 7 1/8 - 7 3/8 57 - 59
Large / X Large 7 1/2 - 7 5/8 60 - 61
One Size Fits All 7 - 7 1/2 56 - 60

 

47 Brand Knit Hats Size Chart Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Knit Hats Youth 6 1/2 - 6 3/4 52 - 54
One Size Fits All 6 7/8 - 7 1/2 55 - 60

 

'47 Brand Apparel

 

 
47 Brand Men's Size Chart S M L XL XXL
Neck 14"-14.5" 15"-15.5" 16"-16.5" 17"-17.5" 18"-18.5"
Shoulder 21" 22" 23" 24" 25"
Chest 36"-38" 39"-41" 42"-44" 45"-47" 48"-50"
Waist 28"-30" 31"-33" 34"-36" 37"-39" 40"-42"

 

47 Brand Women's Size Chart S M L XL
Size 2-4 6-8 8-10 10-12
Shoulder 14.25" 15.25" 16.25" 17.25"
Bust 32"-34" 35"-36" 37"-38" 39"-42"
Waist 26"-27" 28"-29" 30"-31" 32"-33"

 

 

Majestic apparel

Men's Sizing (measurements in inches)
  S M L XL XXL 3XL 4XL
Chest 34-36 38-40 42-44 46-48 52-52 54-56 58-60
Waist 28-30 32-34 36-38 40-42 44-46 48-50 52-54
Hip 34-36 38-40 42-44 46-48 50-52 54-56 58-60
Sleeve 32-33 33-34 34-35 35-36 36-36 1/2 36 1/2-37 37-37 1/2
Neck 14-14 1/2 15-15 1/2 16-16 1/2 17-17 1/2 18-18 1/2 19-19 1/2 20-20 1/2

 

Women's Sizing (measurements in inches)
  XS S M L XL 1X 2X
Size 0-2 4-6 8-10 12-14 16-18 16W-18W 20W-22W
Chest 32-33 34-35 36-37 38-40 41 1/2-43 1/2 43-45 47-49
Waist 24-25 26-27 28-29 30-32 33 1/2-35 1/2 36-38 39-41
Hip 34 1/2-35 1/2 36 1/2-37 1/2 38 1/2-39 1/2 40 1/2-42 1/2 44-46 46-48 49-51
Sleeve 29 1/4 30 30 3/4 31 1/2 32 32 1/2 33

 

Youth Sizing (measurements in inches)
  S M L XL XXL 3XL
Size 6-8 10-12 14-16 18-20 20 22
Chest 24-26 28-30 32-34 36-38    
Waist 21-23 25-27 29-31 33-35 37-39 40-42

 

 

 

Majestic Jerseys

Adult Men's Replica Jersey Sizing  
Jersey Size Small Medium Large X Large XX Large
Neck (diameter of neck) 6.5 6.75 7 7.25 7.5
Chest (underarm to underarm) 20 1/2 22 1/2 24 1/2 26 1/2 28 1/2
Sleeve (back of inside neck to end of middle sleeve) 8 1/2 8 3/4 9 9 1/4 9 1/2

 

Apparel Sizing Tips:

Use these tips as a general guide when finding your measurements:

Chest/Bust: With your arms at your sides, measure around the fullest part of your chest, across shoulder blades and under arms.

Waist: To measure your natural waistline, wrap the tape so it intersects your navel. Keep tape flat, but comfortably loose.

Hips: Stand with your heels together and measure the fullest part of your hips. Make sure the measuring tape is level all the way around your body.

Inseam: Stand up straight, and start the tape measure high in your crotch. Straighten the tape down the inside of your leg to the bottom of your ankle.

 

 

Red Jacket apparel

 

 

Junk Food apparel

 

Next Level apparel (Shibe Originals)

General Size Neck
(in inches)
Chest
(in inches)
Waist
(in inches)
Arm
(in inches)
Small 14-14.5 34-36 28-30 31.5-32
Medium 15-15.5 38-40 32-34 32.5-33
Large 16-16.5 42-44 36-38 33.5-34
X-Large 17-17.5 46-48 40-42 34.5-35
XX-Large 18 – 18.5 50-52 44-46 35.5-36