Oddity: a strange or peculiar person, thing, or trait.
OK, here’s a quintet of strange “things” that have happened in the history of the Phillies. I’m sure there have some “peculiar persons” with the Phillies (including this author) but gonna stick to “things.”
How do you explain some of these strange things? Jayson Stark of The Athletic often simply says, “That’s baseball.”
• Chuck Klein hit a home run off the same pitcher (Boston Braves’ RH Ben Cantwell) in each game of a Memorial Day doubleheader at Baker Bowl, May 30, 1931. Turned out Cantwell gave up only two other home runs that season (156.1 innings).
• Starter Wayne LaMaster was the losing pitcher despite throwing only four pitches. The Phillies lefty-hander exited the game with an injury and a 3-1 count on the Cubs' leadoff hitter, Stan Hack. Tommy Reis relieved and issued ball four. The walk was charged to LaMaster. Hack wound up scoring one of four first-inning runs. The Cubs never trailed in a 21-2 blowout. This took place on a Thursday afternoon in Wrigley Field, May 5, 1938. The blowout? RHP Hal Kelleher allowed a Major League-record 12 runs (on 10 hits and 3 walks) in the eighth inning. Sorry to drag you into this story, Hal.
• The Phillies were caught in a triple play without making contact with the ball. With Richie Ashburn (single) and Granny Hamner (walk) on base, Eddie Waitkus looked at a called third strike (out No. 1). Cardinals catcher Joe Garagiola then threw to third, where Ashburn was caught stealing, 2-5-6 if you are keeping score. (out No. 2). The ball was then relayed to Stan Musial at first where Hamner was caught off the base, 6-3 (out No. 3). Yes, this really happened in the first inning of the first game of a Sunday afternoon doubleheader against the Cardinals at Shibe Park on May 21, 1950. Score? Cardinals 6, Phillies 5. Would love to hear Ashburn explain this one.
• Catcher Andy Seminick was traded to the Reds in a seven-player trade in which catcher Smoky Burgess came to the Phillies. That was during the Winter Meetings, Dec. 10, 1951. Four years later, the Reds traded Seminick back to the Phillies in a six-player deal that again included Burgess, April 30, 1955.
• There have been 13 no-hitters thrown by Phillies pitchers. Five different Phillies hit homers in those historic games: Johnny Callison (1964, Jim Bunning's perfect game), Darren Daulton (1990, Terry Mulholland), Ricky Ledee (2003, Kevin Millwood) and Ryan Howard (2015, Cole Hamels). The fifth? None other than pitcher Rick Wise, who hit two in his 1971 no-hitter at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium. No other pitcher has homered twice while tossing a no-hitter.