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The Locker | Oaky Aftertaste

November 16, 2012

Chase in 1905 (Baseball Fever)

Hal Chase, a Yankee first baseman from 1905-1913, had the odd habit of chewing on his bats.  Teammates speculated that he wanted to test the quality of the wood or simply that he enjoyed the taste, but Chase never let on why he did it.

As a Yankee, he sustained one of the strangest injuries in baseball history when he got a painful splinter in his tongue that required a doctor’s intervention.  The New York sportswriters were skeptical, but the Yankees’ bat boy confirmed the rumors: “Almost every bat around our bench has got Mr. Chase’s teeth marks on it.  He just sorta gnaws on them.”

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