Kid Elberfeld - Hall of Shame 3

Bruce Nash

Source: Amazon.com

Norman "The Tabasco Kid" Elberfeld

Shortstop - New York, A.L. - September 3, 1906

Kid Elberfeld was dragged off the field kicking and screaming by a squad of policemen in the most disgraceful ejection ever witnessed on a major league diamond.

There was good reason why the New York Yankees shortstop was called -The Tabasco Kid-- Although he was only 5-feet, 5-inches tall and weighed 135 pounds, Elberfeld had a king size temper-hotter than a jalapeno-that labeled him the bad boy of baseball.

His most deplorable heave-ho came during the thick of the 1906 pennant race in the first game of a doubleheader against the visiting Philadelphia Athletics. In the top of the ninth inning of a 3-3 tie, A's runner Danny Murphy stole third base on a close play. Immediately, the Yankees surrounded umpire Francis O'Loughlin and protested the call. He quickly silenced them all-except for The Tabasco Kid. Elberfeld approached the ump with his fists raised, but O'Loughlin disdainfully waved him away. The gesture infuriated the Kid, who rushed at the arbiter and attempted to kick him. O'Loughlin dodged him with the skill of a bullfighter and then, in the same motion, gave Elberfeld the thumb. In retaliation, the Kid gave O'Loughlin the finger. Wanting further vengeance, the wrathful player chased the ump all over the infield, trying six futile times to kick him in the butt and spike him in the foot.

When the alarmed umpire finally appealed to the police for help, three cops raced out onto the field and grabbed Elberfeld. Cursing at the top of his lungs, he was hustled to the dugout while the 20,000 fans at New York's Hilltop Park jeered him.

O'Loughlin refused to allow the game to continue until the Kid was removed from the ball park. This only enraged Elberfeld more. Breaking free from the policemen's grasp, he charged after the umpire again. Team mate Al Orth tried to restrain him, but even though Orth had a seven inch, sixty-five-pound advantage over the Kid, the furious Elberfeld still knocked Orth down and continued his mad rush toward O'Loughlin

Once again. the beleaguered umpire was forced to run for his life until the cops recaptured the crazed player and hauled him off the field for the second time. When the Kid was brought to the players' gate, he wouldn't budge any further. Meanwhile. New York manager Clark Griffith feared the game would be forfeited because play had been held up for so long. Griffith ran up to Elberfeld and threatened to kick him off the team if he didn't leave. Reluctantly, the Kid finally shuffled to the clubhouse with boos and hisses from the crowd still ringing in his ears.