The Most Curious Game of Baseball

Sep 22, 2003

RAY: Since we're in the waning hours of the major league baseball season, I thought it appropriate that we use this puzzler.

TOM: In a few weeks it'll be irrelevant.

RAY: Exactly. The inspiration for this came from a guy named Willie Myers. He says,

"I had had a hard day at work. The boss had been on my case. I decided to hit the local tavern on my way home.

"I walked into the tavern, and I noticed there was a ballgame on the TV that's hanging on the back wall. I took a stool at the bar, and ordered a beer. I glanced up. I'm not really that interested in baseball, but there was an attractive lady sitting there, and she seemed interested in the game. I asked her, "What's the score?"

She said, "There's no score. It's the bottom of the 5th."

There were two outs. The batter hit a hard grounder, sharply down the first base line. Since there was no one on base, the first baseman was playing off the bag. He lunged and grabbed the ball before it could make it into the outfield.

Then - instead of running to first base to make the out - he took the ball, and fired it across the diamond to the third baseman, who caught the ball and stepped on third. The ump made the sign saying, "You're out!" All of his teammates ran off the field.

What happened?


RAY: I've done this myself. He wasn't watching the game on TV.

TOM: He was watching a reflection of the game!

RAY: Right. He was watching the game in the mirror behind the bar.

TOM: The ball was hit to third base.

RAY: Exactly. The third baseman did exactly what the he should do: he scooped the ball up, dug it out of his glove, fired over to the first baseman and the first base umpire made the out sign. Who's our winner, Tommy?

TOM: The winner is Daniel Daniels.

Get the Car Talk Newsletter