The Great Potato Stunt

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette remembers the Great Minor-League Potato Stunt:

Dan Lewerenz (AP): It's been 15 years since Bresnahan, then a backup catcher for the Class AA Williamsport Bills, pulled one of the most infamous stunts in baseball history, throwing a potato into left field to lure a runner off third base. The stunt ended his baseball career, made him an instant celebrity, even got his number retired. Yet to this day, Bresnahan is surprised by the continuing attention he gets -- all because of one lighthearted moment what seems like ages ago. "I didn't throw the potato to be famous or to make money," Bresnahan said in a telephone interview from Tempe, Ariz., where he has lived since his baseball career ended. Now 40, he works as a real estate broker. "I did it because I thought it would be fun." It happened on Aug. 31, 1987, with the Bills -- 27 games out of first place and seventh in the eight-team Eastern League -- playing host to the Reading Phillies. Bresnahan was catching the first game of a doubleheader when, with two out and a runner on third in the fifth inning, he hurled what looked like a baseball past the third baseman and into left field. The runner, Rick Lundblade, trotted home only to be tagged out at the plate. Lundblade was shocked. The crowd was confused. The Bills were laughing. Bresnahan had executed his trick to perfection.


Posted on Sun Sep 01, 2002


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