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stealing first base

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Postby thehat » Sun Jun 26, 2005 4:21 am

MFTIOA wrote:He ran immediately to 3rd base

No he didn't. He ran the bases counterclockwise like one is supposed to, but did it backwards and then did the slide into home plate.

bostongurlie wrote:
I was intrigued by the whole running around the bases backward thing so I googled Piersall. I found this in I guess he had major bipolar disorder and left baseball for 3 years bc he had a nervous breakdown.

Piersall dealt with his illness and notoriety with an affable, jovial disposition and occasionally eccentric on-field behavior. He once played a game in a Beatles wig, led cheers for himself in the outfield during breaks in play, "talked" to Babe Ruth behind the center field monuments at Yankee Stadium, and ran the bases backwards after his 100th home run. His attitude towards his illness can be summed up in a quote from his autobiography --"Probably the best thing that ever happened to me was going nuts. Whoever heard of Jimmy Piersall, until that happened?"

There's an old movie called "Fear Strikes Out" that you may be able to find at a video store. It was made in '56, I think, so it was long before the 100th HR incident as well as his colorful post-playing career behind the mike.

As for the movie, it's not horrible, as long as you don't take it as the gospel truth. The film puts much of the blame for Piersall's problems on his father, well played by Karl Malden. I think that's somewhat on target. Piersall was played by Anthony Perkins, who acted with tremendous intensity, but was about as unathletic as anyone could possibly be. Also, the film is virtually humorless, which I assume was done to maintain the seriousness of Piersall's illness. However, that's highly inaccurate. While Piersall was clearly ill and did have a major breakdown, he was also a major cutup who was heavily involved in clubhouse goofiness.

The movie would have been a lot better had they injected some of that Piersall humor into the script, as it would have made him a more likeable subject, and would have been closer to the truth. Nevertheless, it's a mildly interesting flick.
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Postby Arlo » Sun Jun 26, 2005 9:58 am

You'll certainly find Piersall's name connected with a lot of baseball anecdotes. From that 100th home run celebration to hitting from both sides of the plate in the same at bat, he pretty much did it all. If you're ever stumped on a trivia question dealing with an unusual situation, he's not a bad stab in the dark...
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