Rookie Baseball Player

Before going into college basketball coaching, Dick Schultz, ex-head coach at the University of Iowa, was a minor league baseball catcher. He once had a manager who was given to eccentric lineup changes.

The manager decided one night to put a rookie third baseman at first base, a position he had never played before.

The inevitable happened, a left-handed batter drilled a grounder to the neophyte first baseman, who grabbed the ball and, instead of stepping on the base for the out, reflexively began to throw, quite as if he were playing third.

But halfway through the throwing motion he realized where he was and fell into a series of contortions in an effort to keep from throwing the ball away.

The runner was so startled by this that he stopped on the baseline.

The first baseman finally fired the ball to home plate, where Catcher Schultz made a startled grab.

"I didn't want the ball," Schultz says, "so I threw it back to him."

Although the runner had stopped, the first baseman still did not think to step on first. Instead he did what a third baseman would do. He cut him off and started a rundown play.

The runner, by now as confused as anyone, fell into the act as the first baseman and Schultz began throwing the ball back and forth.

Finally, the runner made his break back to his last base, which happened to be home. Schultz tagged him and the umpire bellowed, "You're out!"

Schultz had only one question. he turned to the umpire and inquired innocently, "What would you have done if he had been safe?"
[ Author Unknown -- from Stan Kegel, via 'Buffalos Chips' ( ]

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