August 15, 2020 history was made in major league baseball. The Dodgers and the Angels, tied after 9, went to the 10th. Chris Taylor, Dodger, was placed at second base by virtue of the rule now in place (extra innings). He stole third. Max Muncy hit one deep enough to right field to allow Taylor to tag up, come in and score. A sacrifice fly… The first ever lead-off sacrifice fly in baseball history. How about that?
And then… His actual name is Markus Lynn Betts, but you know him as Mookie. See his mom’s sister’s name is Cookie, and his mom wanted to show affection because her sister had named her son partly after her, and the sister’s name was Cookie. It all makes sense right — Cookie, Mookie? But wait it is pronounced Moo-kie. Well, more importantly then, Mookie’s initials are MLB. Now it all comes together.
Sometimes and perhaps too often it takes a great tragedy to make necessary change. Ray Chapman, born in 1891 passed in 1920, played for the Cleveland Indians. He was hit in the head by a pitch thrown by Yankee pitcher Carl Mays, and passed 12 hours later. He is the only Major League player to die from an injury that arose during a game. His sad ending led to MLB establishing a rule that requires the umps to replace a ball whenever it becomes dirty, and also led to the ban on spitballs (after the 1928 season). Years later his death was one of the reasons given for players to wear batting helmets. With the unpredictable nature of what pitchers on opposing teams may do at least at present when playing the Houston Astros (aka the Asterisks), it does make you think a bit.