Sandy Valdespino was a fast outfielder who made it to the major leagues with the Minnesota Twins. When he broke into minor-league baseball, however, he had difficulty running the bases. He would try to steal every time he got on base, and sometimes he would fail to watch the coach’s signals. As a result he was often picked off base, or he’d be tagged out trying for an extra base, thus killing a rally.
Finally his manager took drastic action. “Sandy,” the skipper warned, “if you try any more silly base running, I’m going to tie a rope around you.”
Sure enough, Valdespino ran through a coach’s “stop sign” and was thrown out at the plate.
The next time Sandy got on base, the manager called for a time out. He came off the bench carrying a rope. One end was tied around Sandy’s waist; the other end was handed to the first-base coach. The crowd went wild with laughter, but at long last young Sandy Valdespino got the message.
From The Giant Book of More Strange But True Sports Stories by Howard Liss. Illustrations by Joe Mathieu.