Preston: No, Bill Sharman was never ejected from a major league baseball game as a Dodger
From SABR member J.G. Preston at The J.G. Preston Experience on October 28, 2013:
Bill Sharman, who died Friday (Oct. 25) at age 87, had a remarkable career in sports. One of only three men (along with John Wooden and Lenny Wilkens) to be a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach, Sharman was named first-team All-NBA four times, played in the NBA All-Star Game eight times (and was MVP in 1955) and starred on four NBA championship teams with the Boston Celtics. He went on to coach championship teams in three different professional leagues (the American Basketball League, the American Basketball Association and the NBA) and coached the Los Angeles Lakers to an NBA-record 33 consecutive wins in 1971-72. He left coaching to become the Lakers’ general manager and later president, and when the Lakers won the 1980 NBA title Sharman became just the second man, after Red Holzman, to be part of an NBA championship team as a player, coach and general manager.
But this post has to do with another facet of Bill Sharman’s life in athletics: his five seasons as a professional baseball player, including a brief tenure in the major league uniform of the Brooklyn Dodgers at the end of the 1951 season. His time with the Dodgers resulted in this entry on Sharman’s Wikipedia page:
…as a result of a September 27 game in which the entire Brooklyn bench was ejected from the game for arguing with the umpire, Sharman holds the distinction of being the only player to have ever been ejected from a major league game without ever appearing in one.
Similar language is found, at least when this was written, on Sharman’s Baseball-Reference.com Bullpen page and at BaseballLibrary.com, among many other sites. Bruce Nash and Allan Zullo even included the tale in their book “The Baseball Hall of Shame,” but they were smart enough to include this: “Officially, [Sharman and his teammates] weren’t ejected.” So they toned down the language to say he was “kicked out of a game without ever having played in one.”
Sharman may have been kicked out of the dugout, but he wasn’t kicked out of the game. Because he wasn’t “ejected,” as in not being allowed to play. Here’s what happened, according to the game story in the September 28, 1951 New York Times.
This page was last updated October 28, 2013 at 11:23 am MST.