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Baseball's class clown Al Schact brought his schtick to Spring Training

Babe Ruth he wasn't, but back in the day Al Schacht had reached a pretty impressive level of popularity by teaming up with fellow Washington Senator Nick Altrock to bring vaudeville to baseball.

Schacht and Altrock had reputations as the class clowns of America's pastime. They dressed up as football players, brought typewriters onto the field, played tubas and entertained fans by playing ball with oversized equipment.

In the image up top, you'll see the pair striking one of their more familiar poses in Tampa, Fla. at Spring Training before the start of the 1929 season. When they were done playing, the pair toured the country putting on their show for spectators, but -- according to the Society for American Baseball Research -- had a falling out over the re-enactment of a boxing match that got a little too real:

"The story is that Schacht thought it would be funnier if he actually hit Nick and so punched the older comic unexpectedly and knocked him to the ground. Altrock got revenge a few days later during a routine where he would normally fire a hard baseball at Schacht for him to dodge and follow it with a soft baseball that Schacht took on the head. Altrock switched the baseballs, and Schacht took a hard blow to the skull and hit the turf."