March 3, 2021

Effectively Wild Episode 1505: Sign Stealing is a Flat Circle (FanGraphs)

In a special narrative episode of Effectively Wild, Ben Lindbergh traces the parallels between baseball’s latest sign-stealing crisis and an almost 60-year-old sign-stealing scandal that caused a comparable upheaval in the sport, drawing on archival clips, contemporary music, and interviews with author Paul Dickson and former major leaguers Eddie Robinson, Al Worthington, and Jay Hook to explore how illicit sign stealing starts, whether players can prevent it, and why it keeps recurring.

Audio intro: Bob Dylan, “Stealin’
Audio interstitial 1: Elvis Presley, “Suspicion
Audio interstitial 2: Gene Vincent, “I’m Goin’ Home (To See My Baby)
Audio interstitial 3: Helen Humes, “‘Tain’t Nobody’s Biz-Ness If I Do
Audio interstitial 4: Goldie Hill, “I Slipped Off My Wedding Ring
Audio interstitial 5: Patsy Cline, “Your Cheatin’ Heart
Audio outro: Ray Charles (Feat. Margie Hendricks), “Tell the Truth

Link to The Hidden Language of Baseball
Link to Robinson’s memoir
Link to Veeck As In Wreck
Link to Rob Arthur’s Astros research
Link to Major League II scene
Link to Greenberg autobiography
Link to 1913 McGraw article
Link to first part of 1962 Sporting News

Read “Effectively Wild Episode 1505: Sign Stealing is a Flat Circle” at FanGraphs