A Unique Double Play

This article was written by L. Robert Davids

This article was published in the 1983 Baseball Research Journal


John Cameron was an amateur player in the Boston area picked up by the Braves late in the 1906 season. Although inexperienced, he used his head in one of baseball’s most unusual double plays. Cameron played several games in the outfield before he was called upon to pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals on September 26. Cameron served up a single to the lead-off batter, Tom O’Hara, and the next batter, Al Burch, lined the ball back at Cameron, “catching him just above the temple, and dropping him to the ground.” The ball bounced on the fly back toward the Boston catcher, Jack O’Neill (one of the four O’Neill brothers). He caught it in the air, wheeled and threw to first baseman Fred Tenney to retire O’Hara and complete, according to the Boston Globe, “the most unique double play on record.”

Cameron, who was given an assist on the double play, was carried from the field, still not knowing what had happened. Manager Tenney called in outfielder Cozy (the original) Dolan to pitch, and he went the rest of the way, eventually losing to Stoney McGlynn of the Cardinals, 6-3. It was a week later before Cameron appeared again in the lineup. He played left field, where he had a little more time to focus on the ball. But that was the end of his major league play. He faded into obscurity, and there is no information about his date and place of death or even his height and weight or how he threw. But we do know he participated in a most unusual double play.

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