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Nine for Nine: SwampDogs Make History

Fayetteville Swampdogs

We can’t find another incident of this happening in pro or summer-collegiate ball: the Fayetteville SwampDogs (summer collegiate; Coastal Plain League) had all nine players play all nine positions in nine innings in last night’s 5-5 tie with non-league opponent Kernersville Bulldogs.

Key to the record: a left-handed catchers glove. Ty Petersheim did his best Mike Squires imitation behind the plate in the eighth inning, even throwing out a would-be base stealer in the process. Traditionally left-handed catchers are a rarity in baseball: they’re in the wrong position to guard the plate when a runner attempts to score from third, and the sporting industry doesn’t manufacture many left-handed catchers mitts, so young players are never taught the position.

From the Fayetteville Observer:

The obligatory Keystone Cops sequence occurred during a three-run fourth inning. Kernersville leadoff hitter Billy O’Hara reached on a dropped third strike, moved to third base on two passed balls, then scored on a wild pitch. Later, Garvey walked, stole second base and scored when the throw sailed into center field, where (catcher) Hunter Dolshun took his eye off the errant throw from (pitcher) catcher Kaeson Wilson.

Prior to the game, the nine starters drew numbered balls out of a bucket to determine their starting position, then they rotated down through the fielding numbers from 1 (pitcher) to 9 (right field). Dolshun was eager to play shortstop and got his in the second inning….

“I think the big idea in general was just doing something for the fans,” [Swampdogs coach Anthony] Williams said. “We put on a good show for the fans and that’s the best part.”

The promo also worked at the box office: the team reported 2,000 fans in attendance for a non-league game, a box office certainly boosted by the nine player/nine position promotion.

Scorecard of the game courtesy Patrick Obley.

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