Cieradkowski: Moose Clabaugh, a home run every other game

From SABR member Gary Cieradkowski at The Infinite Baseball Card Set on January 31, 2018:

It was two hours until game time, and the sportswriters in shirt sleeves migrated down to the empty seats behind home plate to watch the newest Brooklyn recruit take his cuts in batting practice. Besides the scribes, a few dozen early birds – salesmen, office workers playing hooky and the neighborhood urchins who snuck in without a ticket – dotted the Ebbets Field bleachers. Unlike the usual nameless, unheralded rookies who always appeared on big league clubs at the end of each season, this one came with credentials that piqued the interests of even the most cynical Brooklyn fan.

The newcomer was a rangy six-footer who had just stepped off the train from Texas where his 62 home runs made headlines coast to coast. After a brief, but savage, legal battle between four ball clubs, Brooklyn had wound up with the western phenom’s contract.

Down on the field, the new guy unlimbered his broad shoulders and adjusted his new wool uniform to his liking. Fixing his cap over his eyes to block out the midday sun, he stepped into the box. After lining a few long shots that sent the outfielders scurrying, the rookie began hitting ball after ball over the right field wall and into Bedford Avenue. Then, as if to prove correct the rumors of his reported power, he hit a tremendous drive that rose high on an arc out towards the right field wall where a large clock was mounted above the bullpen. The ball crashed into the face dead center, freezing time, at least on that clock, for all eternity.

This was Moose Clabaugh, new owner of the single season record for home runs.

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Originally published: January 31, 2018. Last Updated: January 31, 2018.