Niagara Gazette

Sports

January 6, 2014

BASE PATHS: Toole's tale a unique one

Niagara Gazette — On a cool (he insists) August night in 2012, Justin Toole picked up a glove and trotted out to play right field for the Class A Carolina Mudcats of the Carolina League in Zebulon, N.C.

He would not return to that position. By 9:10 p.m. he had played a defensive inning at all nine positions. Did right well, too. Fielded a ground ball at each of the “throwing” infield positions. As catcher, snagged a third-strike foul tip. Then finished the game with two strikeouts on the mound. Had the Mudcats taken less of a lead into the ninth, he’d have earned a save.

But in “9 in 9,” the book Toole would later write, there is little self-congratulation, however justified. It’s not about the achievement, it’s about the journey, what he learned about the game in each position. It’s about putting yesterday behind you except as a learning tool, and accepting the failures endemic to the game in which missing seven times out of 10 makes you a star.

Nine-in-nine is not easily executed. First requirement, the opposing team’s good will, a recognition that no disrespect is intended. The game should not be impactful to the standings and it must be at home. A road team, behind in the score, will not take the field in the ninth. And a wise manager will prepare, in advance, a defensive lineup for every inning.

Greg Edge of the Bisons did it in 1992 but lasted only one batter as a pitcher, after a high fly fell for a triple, beyond the grasp of the catcher-by-trade stuck in right field. Since Edge retired nobody, the mound stint doesn’t show up on his “Baseball Cube.”

Base Paths seems to recall a Niagara Power player trying it, frustrated when rain cut the game short.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page