Ballplayers Get Hungry Too

Curtis Granderson on long extra-inning games:

People ask what’s going through your head once you start to approach that four or five hour mark in the game and that 13-16 inning mark.

Your body isn’t really tired as you see pitchers still come in throwing around the same velocity as before. Players still make plays, steal bases, and hit home runs to win those long games. Mentally, you are ready for it to end sooner than later though.

Sometimes, though, you just get really hungry.

Somehow, I never wondered about that. It does make perfect sense though; by that time, a player probably hasn’t eaten in 6-8 hours.

I wonder how the players with blood sugar issues deal with this.

Which reminds me of an amazing story I heard from the Ron Santo documentary “This Old Cub”. It might even be true.

Santo, a Type I diabetic, was in the on-deck circle when he started to have a blood sugar reaction. He looked out at the pitcher’s mound, and instead of one pitcher, he saw three. Also, three scoreboards in center field.

Keep in mind, this is when he is just moments away from stepping into the batter’s box to face a baseball traveling near his head at 85-90 m.p.h. Or, three baseballs, in this case

A major “uh-oh” moment. He isn’t sure what to do. So he picks the pitcher in the middle. And he got a base hit.

In fact, in his version of the story, it was two outs in the ninth inning, they were behind, and he came up with the bases loaded and hit a home run.

I tried to find the box score from this game, supposedly against the Dodgers in 1966 against Bill Singer. I couldn’t find anything matching those circumstances. Who knows what really happened, but for me the amazing part is that he got into the batter’s box at all. Think about it. Three pitchers!

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