Via our Phillies blog, The Good Phight: on Monday, the Clearwater Threshers (Phillies minor league affiliate) and Jupiter Hammerheads (Marlins) played a game that lasted 23 innings. The Hammerheads won, in part because the Threshers left 22 men on base. Here is how the game's play-by-play account describes the fates of these 22 men (or at least, how it should).
Our hearts are with these men, forever lost at base.
JAMES. Received faulty directions, touched first base, followed chalk line to right-field foul pole, where he apparently believed second base to be. Reports have emerged that he befriended the local peoples and commissioned the construction of a saloon, where he remains to this day.
GUMP. Got lost in heartwarming journey through fabric of American history.
CASTRO. Departed second base on May 23rd. Wind shear blew him at least 300 miles off course from intended destination of third base. Has not been found.
SINGLETON. You ever hear from this guy? Me neither... I didn't see him at the 30-inning reunion. Wonder if he ever got married.
MYERS. Made it all the way to third base, but an unseasonably harsh winter blockaded the passage between third and home. According to his diaries, he had planned to set up camp and simply wait out the storms. Alas.
RUF. Mistakenly filed under "BOZ SCAGGS RE-ISSUES." Shipped off that catalog a long time ago. I bet some hipster kid has him right now and doesn't even know what he's got.
SAVERY. Has been labeled a deserter. Is believed to have escaped to shallow right-center field, where he trades moonshine and furs, shaded from the light of the county tax man.
VALLE. Was attacked by a drunkard at second base. Left with little choice, Valle shot the man. Unfortunately, the drunkard was the governor's son! Valle took a mare from a stable boy, offered him a bit of gold in compensation, and rode off to deep center field, where the law has not yet caught up to him.
BARNES. Missed flight to second base. Was engrossed in copy of SkyMall he was issued on the flight to first. Claimed plot was so convoluted that it required all of his faculties.
HERNANDEZ. First base coach tried to send him to second, but kept receiving an ominous message:
Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:
Technical details of permanent failure:
Base not found
PAYTON. When he left home, to be honest with you, I don't think he ever planned on coming back. Not after what Pappy done.
JAMES (SECOND TIME). Escaped after a storm knocked over a tree and wrecked part of Mr. McCutchen's cow fence. Old Man Johnston found him nearly 15 miles away, leg caught in a bear trap. Johnston came to his aid, but kept him as his own.
MYERS (SECOND TIME). Made a stop at third base, found the train station, and pulled at a car attendant's coat. "Please," he said. I am from another time. I have none of your currency. Please offer me passage on this train. The men following me... they are men... how would you understand... they are men of light and steel. They want nothing good to come of me." The weathered car attendant thought of his own sons at home, and offered him safe passage. No man has seen him since.
RUF (SECOND TIME). Believed there to be a 2.5th base somewhere in left-center field. Grew a cult following, and was eventually expelled from the team for his dangerous ideas.
BARNES (SECOND TIME). Follower of Ruf. Was forcibly adopted by a family of apes along the way.
HERNANDEZ (SECOND TIME). Follower of Ruf. Slowly went mad after Ruf's promises of out-of-production breakfast cereals (Ninja Turtles cereal, Team USA Cheerios, Frosted Mini-Chex) were not fulfilled, ran into foul territory and was not heard from again.
PAYTON (SECOND TIME). Was drafted by the military and sent to second base, but never reported. Innings later, his family began to receive letters from him with no return address. He ended each letter with, "the warning track is my home. I have friends here. I have spies here. Tell them not to look for me, lest they meet unfortunate ends."
JAMES (THIRD TIME). Manager absent-mindedly closed the laptop before saving him.
RUF (THIRD TIME). Launched by NASA in the 22nd inning. Houston has since lost contact, but we know he reached second base at some point, and we hope that if some distant son of carbon encounters, he will reflect on us kindly.
HERNANDEZ (THIRD TIME). We thought we had finally found him a few clicks past second base. We dug up his coffin, kicked up the lid, and... he wasn't in there. It was filled with the gold doubloons he stole during a daring hot air balloon raid of the Queen's Navy. CURSE YOU HERNANDEZ!!!!!!
PAYTON (THIRD TIME). Misinterpreted coach's signals, is currently enjoying third encore at Ace of Base concert.
JAMES (FOURTH TIME). Coach shut off game prematurely, did not understand that the "x 0" next to the icon at the top of the screen meant that he still had one life left.