Rowley: Baseball history and mystery: illegal lineup re-entry

From SABR member Meg Rowley at Baseball Prospectus on October 3, 2017:

On August 25, a bit of baseball history happened; only, hardly anyone noticed. The Red Sox were losing a blowout against the Orioles. To save an arm, first baseman Mitch Moreland pitched the top of the ninth inning. Hanley Ramirez took Moreland’s place at first base, replacing designated hitter Chris Young in the lineup. No more Chris Young, no more designated hitter. Normal blowout stuff so far. But in the bottom of the ninth, Young came to the plate and singled.


According to Retrosheet, it is the only instance of illegal lineup re-entry in MLB history. And hardly anyone there noticed! Italics. Exclamation point! Neither broadcast booth said anything; Buck Showalter didn’t fuss; the umpires let Young take his swings. Perhaps even more surprising, given our delight in both weird baseball and historical novelty, the incident went largely unremarked upon in the broader baseball world. How are we to account for such a wholesale neglect of baseball history?

When considering such a question, we should acknowledge an obvious point: this was a bad game. The Red Sox lost 16-3. They committed five errors. These guys were tired and pretty grumpy. Here is Brock Holt, after he strikes out looking to end the game.

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Originally published: October 5, 2017. Last Updated: October 5, 2017.