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In 13 major league seasons, this Brooklyn Dodger had a lifetime batting average of .324. In nine of his seasons, he hit .300 or better. After his final season, the player became a scout and, for a period of 20 years, he scouted for several different major league teams. In spite of his outstanding credentials as a hitter, the player is best remembered for his role in a play in which the Dodgers ended up with three runners on third base.
With one out and the bases loaded, the player hit a ball off the right-field wall at Ebbets Field. The player touched first base, then second, and headed for third. As he approached third base, he found two other teammates already occupying the base. The incident gave rise to a popular joke in which the straight man says, “The Dodgers have three runners on base.” The comedian then replies, “Which base?”
Who was the player/scout?
This former pitcher played for 18 seasons in the major leagues and was a five-time American League all-star. No slouch at the plate, he had 81 runs batted in and hit five home runs during his career, including a grand slam against the New York Yankees in 1960. After his playing days, he was a scout for the Oakland Athletics and discovered outfielder Jose Canseco while Canseco was playing for Carol City High School in Opalocka, Florida.
Yankees scout Dick Groch, assigned to scout in the Midwest, watched [this player] participate in an all-star camp held at Western Michigan University. Though Yankees officials were concerned that [this player] would follow his girlfriend and attend college instead of signing a professional contract, Groch convinced them to select him, saying, “the only place this kid’s going is to Cooperstown!”