A milkman from Brooklyn

added 7/28/2007 by Cot Deal

Cot Deal

Some pitchers make a manager believe
A game's won when they can relieve.
But one contest requires pull
With another pitcher, no bull,
And an udder trick up one's sleeve.

- Cot Deal

There were a lot of interesting promotions in the days of the Colt 45s, the Houston National League team before they became the Astros. People came from all over Texas and the surrounding states to see major league baseball without having to travel far as they had in the past.

There were fireworks every night after the game. Before the game it might be an egg-throwing contest, or races, or a father and son game - or - you name it, but Dairy Night was always popular in ballparks around the country, and Dairy Night always included a milking contest between two players.

Don McMahon
Don McMahon, a relief pitcher for the Colt 45s wanted to be the team milker.

"Why, that's ridiculous," said Dick Farrell, another pitcher, "You never milked a cow in your life, and being from Brooklyn, this will probably be the first time you were ever even close to one."

"Oh yeah?" countered McMahon, "I've seen other milking contests, though, and I've watched what the guys do - and how they get the milk." He was obviously motivated by the first-place money. "How 'bout it, Skip," he said, as he appealed to Harry Craft, the team manager, "I'll win that thing for us. I guarantee it."

Craft grinned. He was a Texan, and knew how to milk a cow, and knew also how cows were somehow able to sense novices. "Do you know who your opponent will be?"

"It doesn't make any difference."

Harry Craft
"Well, you've got your work cut out for you. Big Joe Adcock is going to milk for Milwaukee, and he was raised on a farm."

"I'll get more milk in the pail than he will," insisted McMahon.

"OK," said Craft, "I doubt if any of our guys could beat Adcock anyway."

There weren't any protesters, but the whole team joined Dick Farrell in roasting the Irishman from Brooklyn.

"All you wise guys are going to apologize when it's all over," warned McMahon.

He had a plan - a real trick up his sleeve. He had somehow obtained a large plastic bag, and a long plastic tube. While the Milwaukee Braves were taking batting practice he filled the bag with milk. His plan was to put the plastic bag under his uniform shirt and on the side. The attached tube would be placed in the long sleeve of his sweatshirt and down to the palm of his hand. Gentle pressure on the bag would force the milk down his arm and into the milk bucket. He carefully hid his master plan paraphernalia in his locker, and joined the rest of the team for the pre-game infield drill.

Dick "Turk" Farrell
After Dairy Night introductions and display of the two beautiful Holstein cows, Joe Adcock and Don McMahon shook hands and returned to their corners. There was a judge beside each milker - just to be sure the rules were being followed. Don McMahon grinned furtively as he took his position on the milk stool. He had cleverly watched Adcock to be sure he was sitting on the right side of the cow. He felt sure the judge wasn't close enough to actually see whether the milk in the pail was coming from the udder or from the trick up his sleeve.

Don McMahon felt cocky - like he did when facing a weak hitter. Dick Farrell stood close by, with an impish grin on his face. When the three-minute bell rang, the bout was over. The judges retrieved the pails to measure.

Farrell couldn't suppress it further. He broke out in a hearty, raucous laugh as he watched the puzzled judges' expressions. Nobody had betrayed him by telling McMahon - and certainly nobody would tell the judge, that he had slipped into the clubhouse during the infield drill and replaced what McMahon was so sure would be the prize winner - with chocolate milk.

- Cot Deal " The Original First Colt .45's Pitching Coach"