Jackson: Crazy eights: a glimpse of life in the Deadball Era

From SABR member Frank Jackson at The Hardball Times on November 6, 2018:

In 2007, Cait Murphy published Crazy ’08, a highly readable, impeccably researched book on the 1908 baseball season. Admittedly, it was an unusually newsworthy year in baseball, which may explain how she overlooked a truly crazy game played on August 8, 1908.

On that Saturday afternoon in Detroit, Burt Keeley was the Senators’ starting pitcher at Bennett Park (the forerunner of Tiger Stadium). What made his outing so unusual was that he was still on the mound at the end of the game. Of course, complete games were the norm in 1908 (Keeley finished 11 of his 15 starts in 1908, his only full season in the majors), so that in itself is not unusual. But since the final score was Tigers 18, Senators 1, his presence on the mound at the end of the game likely raised some eyebrows.

The Tigers led the American League in scoring with 644 runs in 1908, so their offensive outburst was not a total surprise.  But why did it occur on this particular day? There doesn’t appear to be any logical reason for it, so let’s explore other possibilities.

Read the full article here: https://www.fangraphs.com/tht/crazy-08-08-08-a-glimpse-of-life-in-the-deadball-era/

Originally published: November 7, 2018. Last Updated: November 7, 2018.