As Ray Crone remembers it, he always seemed to be pitching on the last day of the season. When he put on the uniform of the Hartford Chiefs for the last time, he knew he had to throw strikes and work quickly.
"I knew all anybody cared about was getting out of there," Crone said.
It was a warm, muggy late summer afternoon, about 70 degrees and overcast when Crone started the first game of a doubleheader on Sept. 7, 1952. The Chiefs, in seventh place, were playing the Schenectady Blue Jays, so called because their parent club, the Philadelphia Phillies, had tried vainly to rebrand as Blue Jays a decade earlier.
The Chiefs were the Eastern League affiliate of...