Something I didn’t anticipate about the Hamptons offseason is how packed the weekdays have become. Tuesdays are late nights publishing Dan’s Papers. Wednesdays are for run club with Lululemon in East Hampton (and time to indulge in my guilty-pleasure television show, Nashville) and Thursday is trivia at Townline BBQ in Sagaponack. As the shorter daylight hours limit outdoor running time, turning to mind exercises is just as fun.
Unfortunately, I had to recuse myself from last week’s trivia due to prior obligations, but it was upsetting to hear that “Baseball!” was one of the topics. I was born for this round. In the hopes that the Dan’s Papers team will read this before the questions are revealed, here are 10 fun facts to help them out. And 10 fun things to tide me over until Opening Day 2014.
•October 14 marked the 10th anniversary of what Cubs incident? The “Steve Bartman Incident.” On October 14, 2003, the Chicago Cubs were playing the Florida Marlins (now named the Miami Marlins) in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. Chicago was ahead 3–0 heading into the eighth inning, when Florida’s Luis Castillo hit a foul ball into right field. Bartman, an excited fan in the stands, reached for it, effectively deflecting it from Cubs outfielder Moises Alou. Had Alou caught the ball, it would have been the second out of the inning, and the Cubs would have been four outs away from winning the game and heading to the World Series. As the Cubs’ luck would have it, the Marlins instead went on to score eight runs that inning, winning the game 8–3 and going on to win the decisive Game 7.
•What significant baseball moments happened on May 6? Babe Ruth hits his first home run, in a 1915 game against the Yankees; Willie Mays was born, in 1931; Roger Marris hits his 100th home run, in 1961; Darryl Strawberry debuts with the Mets, in 1983.
•Which teams have never won a World Series title? San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, Washington Nationals (formerly the Montreal Expos), Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays and the Milwaukee Brewers (formerly the Seattle Pilots)
•What team switched from the National League to the American League at the start of the 2013 season? The Houston Astros.
•What is the “Shot Heard ’Round the World,” in reference to baseball? The 1951 National League pennant playoff series pitted the Brooklyn Dodgers against the rival New York Giants. The “Shot Heard ’Round the World” refers to Bobby Thomson’s home run in the bottom of the ninth during the final game of the series, giving the Giants a 5–4 win and leading them to the World Series.
•What’s the oldest stadium in baseball? Fenway Park (born in 1912)
•What’s the last standing stadium shared by baseball and the NFL? The Coliseum in Oakland, which is home to the Oakland Athletics and the Oakland Raiders
•Why was the former home of the Mets named Shea Stadium? It was named to honor William A. Shea, a lawyer who brought National League baseball back to New York.
•How many teams play in Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League? Name them. Seven: The Center Moriches Battlecats, North Fork Ospreys, Riverhead Tomcats, Sag Harbor Whalers, Shelter Island Bucks, Southampton Breakers and Westhampton Aviators.
•Who do I want to win the World Series? The Red Sox. Former Met Carlos Beltran, now with the World Series–bound St. Louis Cardinals, broke the hearts of every Mets fan when he struck out looking to end the Mets vs. Cardinals 2006 National League Championship Series. I’ve rooted against the Cards ever since.
Here’s to the Red Sox, and here’s to the Dan’s trivia team winning the trivia trophy come April. And if you’re ever at Townline on a Thursday, come say hi.