June 8, 2012

I’m having a lot more luck finding delicious grilled fish in Oporto than I am discovering exactly when Richie Ashburn and Frank Thomas collided in the outfield.  50 years ago today the Mets split a doubleheader with the Cubs in Chicago (ending a 17-game losing streak), and did not make a single error in the process.  But fear not, there was no shortage of oddities.  This being years before lights were installed at Wrigley Field,  the second game got called for darkness.  And although nobody could match the 1962 Mets for ineptitude (nor is any future team likely to), the Cubs put more than a few notches in the dreadful gun themselves: In the second of a two-year experiment at playing without a manager, whichever of their “College of Coaches” was in charge on this day saw fit to bat slugger Ron Santo leadoff and future stolen-base record-breaker Lou Brock sixth, just one of many moves that resulted in the Cubs ending the year in 9th place, behind even the expansion Houston Colt .45’s.