As a kid you probably heard your parents or grandparents share a tall tale or two. “There’s no way that actually happened.” In my family, that story is true, immortalized in Major League Baseball lore.
I never met my grandfather, L.W. “Tubby” Roush, or much of his estranged family from Cincinnati. Even though family ties were severed, one story of my grandfather’s first cousin, Edd Roush, has stood the test of time.
On June 8, 1920, the defending World Champion Cincinnati Reds were battling the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds. After the Giants drove in a run to take a lead in the eighth inning, an argument ensued at home plate. Uninterested in joining the confrontation, Roush threw his ball cap and glove onto the grass in centerfield and took a nap. Once the argument at home plate ended, the umpire saw Roush snoozing and ejected him from the ballgame.
#OTD in 1920, #Reds outfielder Edd Roush thought he’d bide his time during an infield argument to take a cat nap at the Polo Grounds. The talented hitter, unfortunately had to be awakened and thus was ejected for delaying the game. pic.twitter.com/ItdTH0pfkf
— Custom Cards OTD ?? (@custom_baseball) June 8, 2021
My distant relative was one of the best players in baseball at the time. He won the National League batting title in 1917 and 1919, the year the Reds won the World Series against the Chicago Black Sox. Roush finished his career with a .323 batting average and was elected into the Pro Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. Despite his success, he’ll always be remembered as the guy who got caught sleeping on the job.