Dear Mr. Baseball:Who was the youngest baseball player in...

MR. BASEBALL

May 11, 1995

Dear Mr. Baseball:

Who was the youngest baseball player in the major leagues?

Ryan M. Reprogel, age 8 Mrs. Henry's Third Grade Class

Joppa View Elementary School

:,

P.S. -- I am going to break the record!

Dear Ryan M. Reprogel:

As a one-time hall monitor at Chico Salmon Middle School, Mr. Baseball was delighted to receive your note. You should be very proud of your handwriting, which is very neat for someone who was not born when Jim Palmer retired.

Your question required Mr. Baseball to do some very serious research, which, in this case, meant referring to a tome titled "The Complete Baseball Record Book." On Page 6, the book says the youngest player to appear in a big-league game is Joe Nuxhall.

Nuxhall, a Cincinnati Reds pitcher, was 15 years, 10 months and 11 days when he made his major-league debut, June 10, 1944. He lasted two-thirds of one inning, allowing two hits and walking five. It was eight years before he got another chance.

Mr. Baseball wishes you luck in breaking Nuxhall's record, but believes it is more important to make your bed each morning.

Dear Mr. Baseball:

How is the Orioles equipment transferred from the ballpark?

Mark Bunting

Baltimore

Dear Mark Bunting:

Judging from your question, Mr. Baseball surmises that you (a) own a moving van, (b) know somebody who does, (c) are chief operating officer of Ryder truck.

When your letter arrived, Mr. Baseball telephoned Bill Stetka, Orioles assistant public relations director. Bill has accompanied the Orioles on many trips, once exchanging in-flight magazines with Orioles hurler Nate Snell.

Bill said that when the club is traveling, bats, catcher's gear and tweezers are trucked directly from Oriole Park to the airport tarmac. From there, they are loaded onto Orioles charter flights.

When the team arrives at its destination, the equipment is unloaded and brought directly to the ballpark's clubhouse. It remains there until game time, or until a roving gang of souvenir hunters can jimmy the lock.

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