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Our Guess At Sports History: The Ballad Of Nate Berkenstock

This story is almost certainly wrong in many respects, since we're using our imagination. But it's how we'd like to think it went down.

1871, Philadelphia: A 40-year-old man happens upon a field  The men on it are tossing baseballs to each other, warming up and all. The man, one Nathan Berkenstock, decides this "baseball" thing is interesting, seeing as how he played whatever baseball was during his early 30s, and that he can teach these younger players a thing or two about fundamentals from way back when.

After chatting up centerfielder Count Sensenderfer--mainly about the fact that his name is Count Sensenderfer and that is incredible--Berkenstock suits up (as much as they did back then, anyway) for the game.

Predictably, Berkenstock goes 0-4 for the day, including 3 strikeouts. His one ball put into play is a weak grounder to second that Berkenstock doesn't even have the patience to run out. The Athletics win, but whatever.

Berkenstock never plays another game, to the delight of both him and the rest of the team. Berkenstock concludes that this kind of baseball is very stupid and will never last, and he hopes his foray into this stupid new version of the sport gets forgotten even quicker than this stupid sport gets forgotten.

ONE HUNDRED FORTY YEARS LATER, we salute Mr. Berkenstock for being the first professional baseball player ever born, and for his one awful game with the Athletics that probably made him hate baseball. We don't know for sure if he's the only person to ever accidentally set a record in a sport that he didn't even like... but we're going to assume so.

So cheers to you, sir--oh wait, he died? 110 years ago? Well that's a bummer. Oh, and I forgot to write a sandal joke for his last name. Jeez! Sorry for writing a bummer of a post, guys.