| Len Koenecke's Bat
The events leading to the death of outfielder
Len Koenecke are amongst the most bizarre in baseball
history. Koenecke was a popular player for the
Brooklyn Dodgers when he was sent down to the
minor leagues by manager Casey Stengel, in September,
1935. On the way to his minor league assignment,
he chartered a plane in Detroit to go to Buffalo.
About halfway through the flight, Koenecke became
“restless and started grabbing at the controls,”
according to the pilot of the plane, William J.
Mulqueeny. Pilot Mulqueeney was forced to take
the onboard fire extinguisher and hit Koenecke
over the head with it multiple times, which killed
him. The plane then landed in Toronto, where Mulqueeny
and his onboard assistant, Irwin Davis, were,
at first, arrested on manslaughter charges.
This bat is the only known bat used by Len Koenecke
in a game. The bat is a side written bat, which
means that there is a grease pencil marking on
the side, indicating to the bat maker the exact
specifications of the type of bat that Koenecke
liked. Also visible on the back of the bat are
multiple nails, showing how players in those days
did everything to repair their favorite bats.
here to read the New York Times' account of that