The baseball that just disappeared...

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The baseball that just disappeared...

We join Lincoln in the bottom of the first inning, with Lonny Kruger on the mound for the visitors:

...Joe Wallis, the Key West right fielder, hits a high fly ball that seems to be drifting toward the glove of the Cardinal right fielder, John Crider. But the wind is gusting at more than 20 knots and the ball seems to disappear as it falls into its final closing arc.

Crider ducks. He has lost sight of the ball. Jimmy Williams, the Cardinal second baseman, races to his assistance. He ducks, placing both hands over his head for protection. The center fielder, Claudell Crockett, is on the scene with his hands held outward as if to say, 'Well, where the hell is it?'

Templeton, now the manager of the Gary SouthShore RailCats, was playing shortstop for St. Petersburg that day. He was among those who drifted toward the play to provide assistance -- or try to.
... Quote:
I took off running for it because I thought I had a shot at it. It was like a popup to right center. Next thing I know, everyone's running around like chickens with their heads cut off.
Templeton said.

Wallis, meanwhile, doesn't hear an umpire call the ball foul, and he sees no one make a play, so he tentatively makes his way around the bases.

He crosses home plate with nine frantic Cardinals flapping their wings behind him.

Nobody ever saw the ball come down.
... Quote:
It was a weird feeling. "The second baseman's thinking he's going to have a play, the right fielder's thinking he's going to have a play, and the guy winds up getting a home run out of it.

Home run?

The baseball was nowhere to be found -- so the umpires convened and handed down their ruling based on what little evidence they had: Wallis circled the bases safely, nobody caught the ball and nobody saw it go foul.

Home run.

While Key West players rolled around their dugout in laughter, according to Rosseau, the Cardinals argued against the call. Despite a lengthy plea, the case was thrown out.
... Quote:
There was a big argument. The players were arguing pretty good and our manager went berserk. ... I don't have a damn clue where it went, but it wasn't a home run.
Templeton said.

To this day, no one has stepped forward to explain where the ball landed -- if it ever did.

Wickers was surrounded by a macadam parking lot, some scrub oak and a few palm trees. Nobody heard a kerplunk, a splat, the rustle of branches or the shattering of glass. People searched the area all evening and found nothing.
... Quote:
Nobody knows what happened. From the fans to the coaches, umps. ... No one knew.

They estimated that it went out of the park, but that's impossible.

Players don't just go toward a ball, where they think it's going to land, and nothing lands..

So where did the ball go?

It went up and never came down, nobody can give me an explanation.
Rosseau said.

More on the site, its an interesting story...
By netchicken: posted on 4-8-2003

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