A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 23, 2015
“I lost it in the sun” (baseball infielder after fumbling a ground ball)

Baseball outfielders often lose a fly ball in the sun. A popular joke when an infielder muffs a ground ball is that he “lost it in the sun.”

The Brooklyn Dodgers were leading the New York Yankees 3-2 in the 1952 World Series. In Game 6, the Dodgers were up 2-1 in the seventh inning at Ebbets Field. The New York Yankees’ Yogi Berra hit a home run off Brooklyn pitcher Billy Loes, tying the score, and then Gene Woodling singled. Loes dropped the ball on the mound for a balk, sending Woodling to second. The Yankees’ Vic Raschi then hit a ball off of Loes’ leg, and Woodling scored the winning run. The Yankees won Game 7 of the World Series the next day. The Associated Press reported on October 7, 1952:

“I never saw Raschi’s hit at all,” Loes said. “The sun got in my eyes. I just felt it bang into my knee.”

The “I lost it in the sun” joke soon applied to any ground ball missed by any infield position.

Wikipedia: Billy Loes
William Loes (December 13, 1929 – July 15, 2010) was an American right-handed pitcher who spent eleven seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the Brooklyn Dodgers (1950, 1952–1956), Baltimore Orioles (1956–1959) and San Francisco Giants (1960–1961). He appeared in three World Series with the Dodgers, including the only one won by the franchise when it was based in Brooklyn in 1955.
Loes distinguished himself in several ways in the 1952 World Series. When asked how the Dodgers would fare, he predicted the Yankees would win in seven, but was misquoted as saying the Yankees would win in six. During the sixth game, he became the first pitcher in World Series history to commit a balk. In the seventh inning, he was starting his windup when the ball dropped from his hand. “Too much spit on it,” he said later. Then a grounder hit by Yankee pitcher Vic Raschi bounced off his leg for a single, allowing a run to score. Afterward, he said he lost the ground ball in the sun.

Wikipedia: 1952 World Series
The 1952 World Series featured the 3-time defending champions New York Yankees beating the Brooklyn Dodgers in seven games. The Yankees won their 4th consecutive title—tying the mark they set between 1936 and 1939 under manager Joe McCarthy, and Casey Stengel became the second manager in Major League history with 4 consecutive World Series championships. This was the Yankees’ 15th World Series championship win, and the 3rd time they defeated the Dodgers in 6 years.
Gene Woodling followed with a single and Dodger pitcher Billy Loes balked him to second. Raschi then made up for his bunt-turned-double-play by getting a hit, literally off Loes. The ball ricocheted off Loes and into right field bringing Woodling home for a 2–1 lead

8 October 1952, The Stars and Stripes (Europe), “Loes Bewildered by Balk,” pg. 9, cols. 1-3:
BROOKLYN, Oct. 7 (AP)—“I was trying to grip the ball for a curve and it just squirted out of my hands,” said young Billy Loes of that weird seventh-inning balk that helped the Yankees knot the World Series yesterday.
A few minutes later, Yankee pitcher Vic Raschi blasted a shot off Loes’ left knee for a single, scoring Woodling with what proved to be the deciding run.

“I never saw Raschi’s hit at all,” Loes said. “The sun got in my eyes. I just felt it bang into my knee.”

27 June 1953, “Loes Carrying On Brooklyn Trait With Unpredictable Characgteristics On Mound” by Harry Grayson (NEA Sports Editor),
NEW YORK—(NEA)—William Joseph Loes is the latest of a long line of baseball players who belong only in Brooklyn.
He blew the sixth game of the World Series last fall by losing a ground ball in the sun.

23 September 1954, Beatrice (NE) Daily Sun, “The Grounder Billy Loes Lost In Sun” by Frank Frisch, pg. 8, col. 3:
It was in Flatbush in the Series of 1952 that the sun got in Pitcher Billy Loes’ eyes on a ground ball.

26 October 1979, Rockford (IL) Register Star, “They said it all before...much better, too” by Charlie Rayman, pg. D3, col. 1:
Billy Loes, on why he fumbled a grounder—“I lost it in the sun.”

New York (NY) Times
Billy Loes, Quirky Pitcher for Dodgers, Dies at 80
Then came Loes’s misadventures in Game 6, at Ebbets Field.

Pitching in the seventh inning with a 1-0 lead, Loes gave up a home run by Yogi Berra and a single by Gene Woodling. Then he balked by letting the baseball slip from his hand while he was on the pitching rubber, sending Woodling to second base. With two out, Vic Raschi, the Yankees’ starting pitcher, hit a ball off Loes’s leg, and it caromed into right field for a single, scoring Woodling. The Yankees went on to a 3-2 victory, tying the Series at three games apiece.

Afterward, Loes had an explanation for failing to snare Raschi’s comebacker: he said he had lost the ground ball in the sun.

The Yankees won the World Series the next day.

Baltimore (MD) Sun
Orioles pitcher Billy Loes once lost a grounder ‘in the sun’
By Mike Klingaman
JULY 22, 2015, 7:00 AM
Call them flakes, misfits or screwballs. They are athletes whose offbeat antics mystify teammates and fascinate fans and, over three centuries, Baltimore has been blessed with its share. The Baltimore Sun is counting down The Daffy Dozen, the 12 most memorable characters in the city’s sports lore. Today’s oddball, No. 10, is former Orioles right-handed pitcher Billy Loes.
He shrugged off having booted a grounder, saying, “I lost it in the sun.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Wednesday, September 23, 2015 • Permalink