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A Connection

October 26, 2016

Nobody but me came up with this connection of two baseball playing “Hendricks,” and the last two Chicago Cubs’ pennant clinching days, on Saturdays over 71 years apart. It is not direct, please pay attention and I will try to be concise.

First of all, credit to Baseball Reference for their exhaustive, hopefully and very likely accurate research and recounting of baseball history.

Hoping to find something, even some additional knowledge, in itself a reward (perhaps the lesson is to do and not expect reward), I checked on the last days of the 1945 baseball season.

The Cubs had a three game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals with each team having three games to play, two of those games being  Saturday doubleheaders not against each other.

I knew that the Cubs clinched that next to last day in 1945, having heard that much (from Joe Buck, who of course “is always talking at me”) on the broadcast of their second tier of the playoffs/NLCS pennant clincher, 71 plus years later this past Saturday night.

Ah, but did the Cubs win that day? They did, actually both games, but the first game was enough to clinch.

Ah but did the Cardinals perhaps lose? (if they had, there would be no way to determine if it happened before the Cubs won to clinch the pennant) They did not. Thus the Cubs clinched with a win.

So of course, I was to look at that game. No, I never got there. Try to follow.

The winning pitcher for the Cardinals in their first game victory that day vs the Cincinnati Reds, was Ken Burkhart, the same Mr. Burkhart, who for many years was an excellent National League umpire. Nice to know, but what does that have to do with Cubs’ clinching the pennant 71 plus years apart or later?!

Certainly Burkhart’s win in 1945, made it possible for the Cubs to clinch the pennant themselves and here is the connection or better put, the “entanglement.”

Burkhart, as is the case with all of us, often unfairly manifesting in umpires or officials’ sports “calls” being castigated, made mistakes.

One was in game one of the 1970 World Series on Yom Kippur (for some reason three times in 6 years Yom Kippur and game one of the World Series “fell” on the same day, 1965, 1968 and 1970), also a Saturday, making the day more holy to an undetermined number of Jewish people and increasing the “HENDRICKS connection.”

The commercial has been played and to invoke Orson Welles I put on a different “Hat” playing Paul Harvey (I am nowhere near worthy of doing either) you know Kyle HENDRICKS was the Cubs’ winning pitcher, in the 2016 pennant clincher and that Burkhart, later an umpire who made a Saturday World Series game mistake, won his game enabling the Cubs to clinch in 1945. Now “the rest of the story!”

The play in question in the 1970 World Series, manifested in the Reds’ Bernie Carbo being called out by Burkhart, denying them the lead in the sixth inning. They lost the game as the great Brooks Robinson, who went on to have one of the greatest World Series performances ever, homered for the game’s last and decisive runs.

Why was Burkhart’s call wrong and Carbo safe? The catcher tagged Carbo with his glove yes, but the ball was in his hand, NOT the glove.

The catcher’s name on the play in which Carbo, Burkhart and he were “entangled” as in “connected” as in the “HENDRICKS/Burkhart Cubs Pennant Clinchers CONNECTION was Elrod HENDRICKS!!

 

kyle-hendricks-chicago-cubs

Kyle Hendricks, pictured above.

Click below to see the play involving Elrod Hendricks in game one of the 1970 W.S.

WS1970 Gm1: Carbo called out at home

 

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