8.27.2012

Baseball Cards We'd Like to See: Gnats Amuck



 Is it ever advisable to spray deadly poison at your pitcher's head?
The website HistoryOrb.com finds the following event significant enough that it is the item listed under "1990" for yesterday (August 27) in history:

Brewers-Blue Jays game is delayed 35 minutes due to gnats
Admittedly, seeing grown men run around swatting at midair, causing a 35-minute delay in an American League game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Milwaukee Brewers and forcing closure of the stadium's retractable roof, is at least worthy of mention every single August 27 for the rest of recorded time. It's just that the "on such-and-such day in history" format seems extreme when compared to, for instance, the entry for the same day in 2008 at HistoryOrb: "Barack Obama becomes the first African-American to be nominated by a major political party for President of the United States."

Nevertheless, the listing put in our minds that we'd like to see a card of the players being chased around by terrifying swarms of gnats on that fateful day. "I've never seen anything like it," said umpire Don Denkinger, the crew chief who stopped the game in the fifth inning. "I've seen games called by rain, wind and snow, but never bugs.'' Denkinger said there were so many bugs it was "impossible for not only the players, but the umpires as well.''

It is important to note that this perspective does come from an umpire who made one of the most controversial World Series calls, when Mr. Denkinger called the Royals' Jorge Orta safe at first base in the ninth inning of Game 6 of the 1985 Series against the Cardinals. The Royals rallied to win the game and the series in Game 7. Might a front-of-the-card photo of Mr. Orta being called safe paired with a back-of-the-card cartoon with gnats swarming the umpire's judgment also make a decent Card We'd Like to See?


By the way, on that memorable HELP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD THE GNATS ARE AFTER US day in 1990, Milwaukee pitcher Ted Higuera, despite being swarmed, managed to throw a six-hitter in the Brewers' 4-2 victory. Oddly enough, this is not listed as one of his Notable Achievements on Baseball-Reference.com. Some mysteries are simply too deep for us to contemplate.

The only absolutely clear truth in this entire historic arc of complexity is that we need a card commemorating The Gnats That Stopped Baseball on August 27,1990.

2 comments:

1967ers said...

I actually remember that game. I think Wells was on the mound for the Jays. The cameras could pick up hundreds of the bugs swarming all around his head.

1967ers said...

Apparently it was Frank WIlls, not David WElls. 20-year-old memories....