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In August 1987, Dave Bresnahan, a second-string catcher for the Williamsport Bills (AA-Eastern League), hatched an idea: what if … I used something other than a baseball to trick a runner off base to get him out?

When Bresnahan shared his idea with teammates, they laughed, then dared him. “Everybody said, ‘Why don’t you do it?’ Bresnahan told Baseball America in 1988. “It started out as a dare, became a challenge, and I eventually did it.”

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The foots up in your face, and that’s bad. Then he comes through like a fullback charging. He lunges off the hill. Sometimes he even stumbles from the force of his delivery. With all that confusion of motion it’s a problem seeing the ball. But his control is a bigger thing. He can throw all day within a two-inch space, in, out, up or down. I’ve never seen anyone as good as that. — Hank Aaron describing Juan Marichal

Juan Antonio Marichal Sánchez began baffling hitters the first time he stepped foot on a major league pitchers mound literally.

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Despite leading the American League Eastern division by 14 ½ games as late as mid-August, the summer of 1978 may go down in history as one of the most miserable in Boston Red Sox history.

Over the next six weeks, the second-place Yankees would catch fire while the Red Sox watched the wheels fall off their seemingly impassable lead.

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He’s not flashy, he’s not loud, he’s not controversial, but Texas Rangers manager Buck Showalter does have one thing in common with his highly-respected peers: winning.

Much like his managing style, Showalter has built his winning reputation from the ground up. After almost 10 years in the Yankees minor league system, Showalter moved to the major league level and eventually took over as manager for New York in 1992. Despite the big city spotlight and success, Showalter has surprisingly been flying under the media radar. That’s, in part, due to timing and Showalter’s unwavering managerial philosophy. He does not compromise.

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