Friday, January 14, 2011

Card Spotlight: 1-14-11

1981 Donruss #40 - Ed Farmer

The primary reason for this card selection today is that at some point today, one billion seconds will have passed since one of the strangest brawls in baseball history. It just happens to have involved Ed Farmer.

Chris Jaffe tells the story much better and is also the one who informed me about the milestone. Thanks, Chris!

The gist of the story is that on May 8, 1979, Ed Farmer, while with the Texas Rangers, hit Kansas City Royals leadoff batter Frank White in the hand, which broke. Frank White ended up missing a month. Four innings later Farmer hit Al Cowens in the face, breaking his jaw.

Fast forward to over a year later on June 20, 1980. Ed Farmer had been traded to the White Sox during the previous season. Al Cowens had been traded to the California Angels in the offseason, but was traded again to the Detroit Tigers on May 27, 1980.

Each player was on a different team and was facing each other for the first time since the beaning. Ed Farmer relieved Britt Burns with two out in the tenth inning and got Alan Trammell to fly out Chet Lemon in center field. Ed Farmer returned in the top of the eleventh to face Al Cowens.

Cowens grounds out to Todd Cruz, at shortstop. The ball is thrown to first baseman Mike Squires for the out, but Al never reaches the bag. He never even runs towards first base. Instead he runs directly at Ed Farmer for a little payback.

One billion seconds will pass sometime tonight since this oddity happened. And to think, if it wasn't for Chris Jaffe at the Hardball Times, I would have never known.

1 comment:

Core Contrarian said...

I remember when it happened. I used to have a paper route as a kid and would read the sports section as I walked the route. The quote from Sparky Anderson in response to a question on what just happened went something like this, "I don't know. It apparently involves something that happened years ago with other teams. He hit the ball and then.....well he did it."

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