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Piersall Suspended for Brush with Umpire

July 29, 1963 - American League President Joe Cronin today fined the Los Angeles Angels’ Jim Piersall (pictured sliding home at Fenway Park yesterday) $250 and suspended him until Friday for a brush with umpires at yesterday’s doubleheader in Boston. Piersall’s trouble — as a result of which veteran umpire John Stevens landed on the seat of his pants — came in the ninth inning of the second game at Fenway Park. Piersall protested a Dick Radatz pitch called a strike by plate umpire Bill Kinnamon. When Jim whirled around and began shouting at Kinnamon, Stevens came in from his second base post. “I grabbed Piersall’s bat, trying to calm him down,” said Stevens. “But he swung away from me, going back to Kinnamon, and let the bat go. I had nothing to hold on to, and I fell down. I don’t blame Piersall for that.” After Stevens’ tumble, Piersall was ejected. Angel coach Rocky Bridges locked the fuming outfielder in a vise-like grip and dragged him to the dugout. Piersall later said he had been “just complaining” to the umpire and had used no profanity. “I’m sick and tired of being called a clown and a nut,” Piersall declared. “Kinnamon called a strike on me, and I protested. I told him it was a bad pitch and said, ‘Bear down, will you?’ He accused me of swearing at him. I wasn’t. I haven’t sworn at an umpire all year.” Angel manager Bill Rigney backed his new center fielder wholeheartedly. “I think Kinnamon made a mistake throwing him out like that. What the heck, it was about 110 out there. Sure, Piersall’s hot-headed. But he didn’t act any differently than he has for 12 years in the majors,” said Rigney. It was a bizarre ending to Piersall’s second straight productive day with the Angels. Saturday, Jim returned to the American League by getting two hits in a 5-2 victory over the Red Sox. Yesterday, he sat out the first game, won by the Angels 5-0, but was back in the lineup for the nightcap, singling twice, stealing second once, and scoring the winning run in the 5-4 victory.


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