In a jesting comment made here at The Cardinal Nation blog, reader blingboy wondered if the St. Louis Cardinals medical staff must have looked at the wrong elbow of shortstop Rafael Furcal when recently proclaiming him to be completely healed.
That led me to wonder about the identity of the last left-handed thrower to take the field as a shortstop in a Major League Baseball game. With the help of Baseball Reference’s Play Index, we can chase down the answer – or at least an answer.
While Mark Ryal of the Angels in 1987 is the most recent to appear in a box score and receive an at-bat while assigned to the position, he never played defense. Same with Tom Chism of Baltimore in 1979. Prior to them, Baltimore’s Royle Stillman made six starts at short in September 1975. He batted in the top of the first inning each time and then was replaced by light-hitting shortstop Mark Belanger.
On May 22, 1954, it did happen – though not exactly and not for long. In the bottom of the eighth inn...