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Ted Beard, spikes high

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Ted Beard, sliding with intent. (Life Magazine)
Ted Beard, sliding with intent. (Life Magazine)

The guy you see sliding into third is Ted Beard.

I hadn't heard of him until I saw Repoz at Baseball Think Factory post his obituary. Beard, who died at the age of 90 on Friday, was a classic minor-league star who found 100 at-bats with the White Sox from 1957 to 1958. He later served as a minor-league coach for White Sox rookie teams before retiring from baseball in 1972.

Beard was playing for the Hollywood Stars, and not the White Sox, when he slid into third during a game in August of 1953. You're probably thinking, "Those spikes are a mite high, aren't they?"

You'd be right. That slide started a brawl, which Life Magazine captures in an awesome pictorial. Beard immediately gets jumped on by the third baseman he had wronged, Murray Franklin, but later you can see him throwing a hellacious right cross.

Beard was also an army medic in the Pacific Theater during World War II, and as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates, he became only the second player to hit a ball over the 86-foot-high right-field roof at Forbes Field on July 16, 1950. The other was Babe Ruth, and later, only Eddie Mathews and Willie Stargell would match the feat.

Beard's SABR biography says he didn't do anything nearly that interesting with the White Sox. But those photos are too incredible to ignore.