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This Week in History: Of Suspensions and Missing Legs

It is Spring Training time, but that doesn't mean that there hasn't been plenty of baseball to happen a year ago this week...

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

This week in 1945, Bert Shepard, who had lost a foot in World War II, tried out for the Washington Senators. He made the team, but would only pitch in one game, allowing 1 run in 5.1 innings. I remember him because of an incident that happened during a spring game the following year, when he lost his (prosthetic) foot and kicked it into center field. I remember reading an interview with him talking about how his teammates couldn't stop laughing and how the players (and fans) that were unaware he was missing a foot were horrified. However, since I can't find a legitimate source that mentions this event, I suspect it may be apocryphal.

This week in 1954, Hank Aaron made his first Spring Training start for the Braves. After spending the winter in Puerto Rico learning to play the outfield (previously, he had played shortstop and third base) he replaced Giants' hero Bobby Thomson, who broke his ankle, and while 1954 would be one of his worst seasons in the Major Leagues, he would be a fixture in the lineup in 1954, go to his first All Star Game in 1955, and win his first batting title in 1956, his age-20 season.

This week in 1960, Bill Veeck drew the anger of the old white men of the time by putting names on the back of uniforms. The White Sox first wore NOBs in a game against the Reds in Tampa. Since then, most teams have adopted wearing the name on the back, although in ST, minor league players don't generally have the name, and as we saw last night, sometimes not even a number

This week in 1986, Carney Lansford hit an inside-the-park home run. That wasn't too unusual. What was unusual was that he was able to do so because Cleveland outfielder Mel Hall got his shirt stuck in the fence, and, according to one source, Julio Franco was doubled over laughing and unable to help get the ball in.

This week in 2010, Eric Hinske Cliff Lee is suspended for throwing over Chris Snyder's head in a Spring Training game. Believe it or not, there was a time when the Diamondbacks were not to blame for every bench clearing incident, even according to ESPN.