Sylvester’s Ploy

Sylvester the Fox, of the Hen Robbers in the Fox Intra-Species League, made himself famous within fox circles for one very peculiar inning of baseball. In the version I heard, the Hen Robbers were playing the Chicken Chasers. It was the last inning and the Chasers had their three best hitters coming up. The Robbers were winning, but they only had a one run lead.

Sylvester’s arm was tired, so he walked the first hitter intentionally. The fox patrons were confused. Why put the winning run on first base? The Hen Robbers met at the mound to ask him what he was doing, and they were upset. Sylvester was just as angry, waving his arms and ordering them to return to their positions. As he prepared to pitch, the runner casually led off first base. The team sprung their trap and the runner was tagged out. Sylvester had hidden the ball in the first baseman’s mitt during all of the theatrics. They pulled the look what I’ve got.

The look what I’ve got, or the hidden ball trick to some, was a staple of fox baseball. They did it all the time as discussed here.

One hidden ball trick was not that unusual in a fox baseball game. However, Sylvester did it two more times in that same inning. He’d walk the batter on purpose, pull some sleight of hand, place the ball in the first baseman’s mitt, and woof … the runner was tagged out leading off. He pitched an entire inning without giving the other team a chance to hit the ball. For this, Sylvester’s name was well regarded among the foxes and their legends say he was magical. Dogs knew the story, but dismissed it as fox nonsense.

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