Hey, it's great to be back
The distance from his home in Chandler, Ariz., to Williamsport, Pa., is 2,300 miles, and Dave Bresnahan isn't in the sort of business that normally would take him there. Yet, last Saturday, he found himself attending a baseball game in that city and being given celebrity treatment to boot. At the invitation of the Williamsport Crosscutters of the New York-Penn League, he even tossed the ceremonial first pitch before a contest against the visiting State College Spikes. Then he signed autographs as his hosts handed out trendy bobblehead dolls featuring his likeness. Why? Because 20 years ago on that same field Bresnahan pulled one of the best pranks in sports history. Playing what became the final game of his career for a poor Williamsport team, he decided the fans should have something to remember in an otherwise dismal season. So he hid a potato that he'd peeled to resemble a baseball in his catcher's mitt and used it to try to pick an opposing runner off third base. Only his throw was intentionally high, and as it sailed past him, the runner sprinted for home plate, where Bresnahan tagged him out with the real ball. Not surprisingly, the play was overruled, and Bresnahan was ordered off the field. But the stunt became the stuff of legend. Thus, almost to the day of its anniversary, he went into his windup and lobbed that ceremonial pitch. With a potato, of course.