Dear Mr. Baseball:I want to know about...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Dear Mr. Baseball:

I want to know about how many inside-the-park home runs occur on average every year. In addition, have there ever been any inside-the-park grand slams? In addition, has there ever been an inside-the-park home run in the World Series?

Jack Daniel

Pikesville

Dear Jack Daniel:

Mr. Baseball recalls hearing many an announcer say that the triple is the most exciting play in baseball. So what is the inside-the-park home run -- chopped liver?

(For the record, Mr. Baseball feels that the most exciting play in baseball is Lee Smith's stroll from the bullpen to the mound. This always leaves enough time for Mr. Baseball to go to the fridge and fix himself a sandwich. Preferably turkey breast and mayo on a sesame roll, for those of you keeping score.)

Anyway, David Vincent of the Society for American Baseball Research -- no word on his favorite sandwich -- provides the following inside-the-park homer information:

From 1969 through 1994, there were 505 such home runs, or 19.4 per season. In the history of major-league baseball, 204 inside-the-park grand slams have been hit, the last by Chico Walker of the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 28, 1991. In the World Series, 10 inside-the-park homers have been recorded, the last by Mule Haas of the Philadelphia Athletics on Oct. 12, 1929.

And to make sure you have all the information you need, Mr. Baseball adds that Haas' real name was George and that Walker's real name is Cleotha.

MA And they often call me Speed-O, but my real name is Mr. Earl.

Dear Mr. Baseball:

On the Kansas City Royals uniform, there are the letters M.I.K. on one of the sleeves. What does that stand for?

William Gerber

Catonsville

Dear William Gerber:

The letters are in memory of Muriel I. Kauffman, a Royals club official and wife of late Royals owner Ewing Kauffman. Muriel Kauffman died on March 17. On July 2, 1993, about a month before Ewing Kauffman died, Royals Stadium's name was changed to Kauffman Stadium in his honor.

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