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January 10, 1893: Marty Herrmann

At 25 years old, Marty Herrmann, who was born on this day 127 years ago, made his big-league debut for the Brooklyn Robins in the middle of the 1918 season. The lefty hurler has no other professional baseball stats of record, so it's relatively unknown how he was discovered by Brooklyn. Being a lefty certainly didn't hurt.

He traveled with the team to Cincinnati to take on the Reds at Redland Field in the first game of a doubleheader on July 10. Each team entered the day more than 10 games below .500 and with little more than a prayer at winning the National League pennant. Jack Coombs, the former Philadelphia Athletics starter who won two World Series with the dynastic franchise was nearing the end of his 16-year career when he took the mound for Brooklyn that day.

Coombs was given a tremendously long leash, pitching seven innings, allowing 14 hits and seven earned runs before being removed from the game with his team trailing 7-0. Herrmann was sent out for the eighth inning in a low-leverage situation. Facing a lineup that included Hal Chase, the subject of baseball lore and a "what could have been" case in his own right, Herrmann mowed through the Cincinnati order.

Herrmann walked one and retired the order outside of that, pushing his career MLB stat line to 1 IP, 1 BB, 0 K, 0 ER. He had pitched admirably, but was not given another chance to prove himself. He is a true blip on the map, never registering another professional baseball experience. Like a shooting star, he appeared out of nowhere and just as quickly was gone. So many young boys in America would wish upon that shooting star to get a chance at what he got: an appearance in the major leagues no matter how short.


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