I love February 29.
Because you can write incredibly wild, yet basically true, things like this:
Happy Birthday to baseball great Dickey Pearce who turns 45 today!
“I ain’t got any education, but nobody can teach me how to play ball.” ~ Dickey Pearce
Born in Brooklyn, he started his professional baseball career there when he was just 5 years old.
(If I tell you now that Dickey Pearce was a “leapling” born on February 29, 1836 and made his baseball debut in 1856 … well, you knew that was coming, but why spoil the fun?)
While I seem to be spending an inordinate part of this month writing about short and stocky players, it is, I think, important to note that Dickey Pearce was 5’3-1/2” (when you’re 5’3” that last half inch is pretty important) and weighed in at 161 pounds.
While 5’3-1/2″ and 161 pounds may sound chubby to you, clearly, those old-time baseball unis were downright slimming. (Pearce is the one in back.)
Pearce, who played in the earliest days of major league baseball – from the 1850s into the 1880s – is credited with turning the roving “short field” position into the more territorial shortstop position that we know today, and, in doing so, may have invented, or developed, or, at very least refined, the double play. Continue reading