Lefty McDougal, star pitcher of the West Michigan Whitecaps, had an incentive clause in his contract that guaranteed him an extra million dollars if he won 20 games during the season.
So, it’s the last game of the season. Lefty has 19 victories, and is scheduled to be that day’s starting pitcher. The opponent is a lousy team—the Cedar Rapids Kernals. They’ve got a terrible record, and Lefty knows he’s going to get the bonus.
As luck would have it, an hour before the game his manager approaches him and says, “You ain’t starting, Lefty.”
Lefty asks, “Why not?”
The manager says, “The owner of the team came and said, ‘If you start this bum… if he throws even one pitch, you’re losing your job!’”
Lefty is dejected. He says, “Jeez, I was going buy a new house in the Hamptons with that money!”
Lefty is discouraged, and the manager is discouraged too, because he has great regard for Lefty. The manager wonders, “how can I get Lefty to win his 20th game and collect his bonus– and not throw a single pitch?”
And that’s what happens. Lefty wins the game without throwing a single pitch.
How did he do it?