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This Umpire Caused Chaos By Calling Strikes with No Cubs Batters in the Box!

Wild and Crazy

The Cubs-Cardinals rivalry has always been full of fire and passion – that much is clear. But when you throw a *little* bit of an “Ump Show” into the mix, things start to take off in a major way.

Enter the following insanity.

Let’s set the scene: The date was Sept. 22, 1974, and the Cardinals had Al Hrabosky on the mound and Ted Simmons behind the plate. At the plate, the Cubs had Jose Cardenal … and Bill Madlock.

Wait, what?

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There is so much going on here, but the thing I keep coming back to is the fact that I can honestly say I have never seen a more egregious strike call ever in baseball. Follow me here for a minute.

Let’s take a look at where all the player are when the ump puts the game in motion:

This is the moment when the Mad Hungarian decided to throw a pitch (in the general vicinity of home plate) at umpire Shag Crawford’s request … so that he could call it a strike, regardless of where the ball wound up:

Not only is that pitch nowhere near the strike zone, there isn’t even anyone in the batters box! The closest Cubs representative to the plate is actually manager Jim Marshall – Cardenal has his hips turned towards third base while standing well outside the batters box.

How does this even happen? What kind of hijinks are going on here?


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And that’s not even the end of it, because there is still a second pitch to be delivered. But before we go there, let’s note that there are two Cubs in the general area where a hypothetical batters box would be with Bill Madlock joining Jose Cardenal:

What chaos! And yet, there is more because here comes the second pitch:

Holy humanity!


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That pitch was juuuuust a bit inside — and perhaps a bit high.

What followed was a good old-fashioned basebrawl (TM) – and not the kind you see now-a-days where five players stand between a batter and pitcher who clearly have beef. This was a serious skirmish.

Somehow, all that noise resulted in was Marshall being tossed from the game. Meanwhile, Simmons — the catcher in the middle of everything — was allowed to continue and eventually knocked in ex-Cub Lou Brock for the walk-off win in the ninth.

If that isn’t #CardinalsDevilMagic, I don’t know what is.


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