A week ago, I got the idea to conduct some independent research. I knew that, back in the day, a lot of baseball players were nicknamed "Lefty". They were nicknamed "Lefty" because they threw with their left hands, and because I guess this was considered their most distinguishing characteristic. I wondered if there were any right-handed players nicknamed "Lefty". Either because of a mistake, or because someone had a sense of humor. I dived in to Baseball-Reference. This was the culmination of my work.
Or at least, that's what I thought would be the culmination of my work. But during my investigation, I found something. Something bigger than lefties nicknamed "Lefty". Something bigger than a righty nicknamed "Lefty". Something bigger than you can imagine. I'll...well, I'll explain.
In baseball history, 1947 stands as an important year. It was, of course, in 1947 that Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier by playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson was the first black player in Major League Baseball since the establishment of the color line. He faced mountains of abuse, but he stood tall, and he carved out a successful ten-year career. Baseball honors Jackie Robinson to this day, as it should. He's one of the most significant people the game has ever seen.
But before there was 1947, there was 1945. And in 1945, there was Marshall "Lefty" Scott. It has become evident to me that Marshall "Lefty" Scott was baseball's first-ever alien. And I haven't the foggiest idea why this isn't a bigger deal.
I stumbled upon Scott's Baseball-Reference page over the course of my research. Something immediately seemed unusual. After a short while I realized what was unusual was that Marshall "Lefty" Scott was an alien. I have two main reasons for believing this.
Scott is the only player ever born in Roswell, New Mexico
Take a look. It's all right here. In all the history of Major League Baseball, 25 players have hailed from New Mexico. Eight were born in Albuquerque. One was born somewhere called Alamogordo. One came from a place called Loving. One hailed from a Van Houten. Scott's from Roswell. He's the only one.
Roswell, of course, needs little description. Roswell is at the center of extra-terrestrial conspiracy theories. It all comes from a crash landing incident in 1947. The military has maintained that what crashed was part of an experiment. Others have maintained that what crashed was an alien spaceship.
Potentially troubling is that the Roswell incident occurred in 1947, while Scott pitched for the Phillies in 1945. But who's to say there weren't earlier visits? Or who's to say the visitors weren't capable of time travel? This isn't much of a stumbling block when you really think about it.
One might wonder, was Scott really "born" in Roswell? What's more likely is that the government simply listed Roswell as Scott's place of origin because they didn't know what else to do.
Scott's picture looks like this
Courtesy of his B-R page:
Scott was photographed. Of course he was photographed - he was a player. It's not much of a photograph. It's actually a very suspicious photograph.
Jamey Carroll's picture above presents very compelling evidence of his humanity. Carroll is seen to have an assortment of very human features. Scott is seen to have no features, aside from the ability to wear a hat, or the ability to make a hat hover in nothingness.
It's not like it's just the old camera, either. Scott's only major league experience came in 1945, with the Phillies. Bitsy Mott's only major league experience came in 1945, with the Phillies. Here's Bitsy Mott:
Bitsy Mott was obviously human. Marshall "Lefty" Scott was anything but obviously human. Because he was an alien.
When you look at the rest of the picture, it only makes more sense. Scott played in 1945, and only in 1945, while America was at war. Major League Baseball needed some replacement players, and not that many people were paying attention to Major League Baseball, what with the whole war distraction. One notes that Scott was bad. He posted a below-average ERA and struck out just five batters while walking 12. Why would an alien be good at baseball? And there's the fact that he lived a mysterious life. Details are hard to track down. This is allegedly how it ended:
He died On March 3, 1964 at the age of 48 in Houston, TX. He was a boilermaker at the Shell Refinery. Scott died following a work-related accident when he was struck by a block and fell from a height.
Sounds curious. Struck by a block? Work-related accident, or prejudice turned violent? Completely made up?
Questions remain. Questions like, why was an alien playing Major League Baseball? I can't answer that, and I suspect it's above my pay grade. Maybe it was an experiment. Maybe the United States wanted to see what an alien would be capable of accomplishing in baseball. Maybe something else. This was a long time ago.
Another question is, why isn't this a bigger deal? Why isn't this pretty much the biggest deal? Back in 1945, the Palm Beach Post referred to Scott rather matter-of-factly:
The world champions ganged up on Marshall Scott to push the first four runs across the plate and repeated the performance when Oscar Judd relieved Scott in the ninth.
My theory is that everybody was distracted by the war. Everybody was just distracted by the war and didn't notice that an alien was playing baseball for the Phillies. Scott's coaches were just thinking about the war. Scott's opponents were just thinking about the war. Journalists were just thinking about the war. And then when the war was over, Scott was gone, and nobody really remembered that he had existed. Everything was just, all right, no more war! For now.
Marshall "Lefty" Scott: alien southpaw. Seemingly inconsequential and long-forgotten, may he - or it - hence be remembered forever.