Baseball ULs

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snopes

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Jan 27, 1994, 9:02:49 PM1/27/94
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We could use some good baseball UL's this time of year:

I remember that back around the late '60s - early 70's (that's 1968-72 to
most of us, anywhere from 1492 to . . . ah, forget it), a company developed
some sort of nonbreakable glass substitute. They promoted their product by
producing a commercial featuring Bob Gibson hurling "nine innings' worth of
fastballs" at a pane of this substance. The commercial showed Gibson
delivering pitch after pitch against the pane, then stepping down off the
mound, sweat dripping from his face, and shaking his head in bewilderment upon
finding the clear pane unmarked and unbroken.

Sometime later, I read a blurb (probably in the L.A. Times) about another
company that had developed the same sort of product decades earlier. They had
decided to promote their product in exactly the same manner, only using a live
demonstration (because this was in the days before television). They set up a
pane of their substance at home plate in some baseball park, positioned film
crews, and invited spectators to witness the event. They then had Lefty Grove
take the mound and prepare to fling pitches against their pane of material.
After a suitable warmup, Grove signalled he was ready, and cut loose with a
fastball aimed at the pane. The horsehide went clean through the pane, leaving
a neat, baseball-shaped hole behind. The films crews packed up, the spectators
went home, and the product presumably never made it to market.

As I was rather young at the time I first heard this story, I did not doubt
it. Since then, however, I have heard versions of this story featuring
everyone from Bob Feller to Dizzy Dean. I offer it up for further comment.

- snopes

+--------------------------------+--------------------------------------------+
| David P. Mikkelson | This article is not a dramatization of |
| Calif. State Univ., Northridge | actual events. |
| Northridge, CA USA | |
+--------------------------------+--------------------------------------------+
--
sno...@netcom.com

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