In the wake of the Major League Baseball strike of 1994, interest in the game was waning. Baseball stumbled through the mid-90’s looking for a hero, a spark of some kind that would revive sagging attendance and interest.

Superman came to the rescue in 1998. Baseball’s superhero had red hair instead of a red cape, the big “S” across his chest was replaced by the classic logo of the St. Louis Cardinals.

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They were known as the Great Lakes Gang: Bud Selig, Jerry Reinsdorf, Stanton Cook, Carl Pohlad, Peter O’Malley and William Bartholomay, a cabal consisting of a half-dozen baseball owners leading the charge in ousting Fay Vincent as baseball commissioner in first week of September 1992.

Vincent came to Major League Baseball as a deputy commissioner in the spring 1989 and unwittingly was pushed into the commissioner’s role exactly six months later, when then commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti suffered a fatal heart attack.

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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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