The fine line between quaint and sinister

This one “Tricks Of The Trade“, from April 1981, is particularly awesome as it celebrates the nuances and the quaintness of cheating in baseball. Doctored balls, corked bats, etc. All in the name of “if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying“. Pre-steriods. Interesting to read this thru today’s lens, where stars like Bonds, McGwire, Palmiero, Clemens, etc. have been vilified for using the latest advances to gain an advantage, but taping a thumbtack to a bandaid or filling a bat with super-bounce balls was somehow part of the game.

A few of the best stories (emphasis mine):

Players are willing to reveal which pitchers throw a less-than-kosher cowhide, although they make it clear that nobody on their team would ever do such a thing. Nearly every sinkerball pitcher gets accused – one of the things that burned Honeycutt was that during his unbeaten string at the start of last season, he was constantly being suspected of loading up the ball, even though he was strictly legit.

Read more