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Friday, September 16, 2011

Former Reds farmhand, 100, finally gets called up

Only in baseball…

The 100-year-old rookie shortstop could still nail a runner at first.

“My arm’s in good shape,” Len Kahny said, firing an imaginary rocket across a make-believe baseball diamond. “But,” he added as he pulled himself up in his wheelchair, “my legs are shot.”

He looked down and slapped his century-old thighs. Then, he gazed in silence at a photo of him in a thick, wool Reds uniform from spring training of 1936.

The home team is honoring him for passing the 100-year-mark with box seats to Saturday’s game and birthday greetings on the scoreboard.

“I don’t expect a bash at the ball park,” Kahny said. “It’s Johnny Bench’s night.”

“That’s OK,” Kahny said. “Bench had a much better career than me. I was just lucky to play the game. Today, I’m lucky to get around.”

...The Reds signed him, he surmised, “to have a hometown kid on the team. But they never called me up. I never had my rookie season.”

He knows why.

“The truth is, I just wasn’t good enough.”

Repoz Posted: September 16, 2011 at 10:42 AM | 31 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, prospect reports, reds

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   1. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: September 16, 2011 at 11:11 AM (#3926724)
...The Reds signed him, he surmised, “to have a hometown kid on the team. But they never called me up. I never had my rookie season.”

He knows why.

“The truth is, I just wasn’t good enough.”


Harveys, you saw him. False modesty or is he telling the truth?
   2. Gonfalon B. Posted: September 16, 2011 at 11:18 AM (#3926726)
The Marlins should trade for him so he can mentor Hanley.
   3. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: September 16, 2011 at 11:51 AM (#3926734)
...The Reds signed him, he surmised, “to have a hometown kid on the team. But they never called me up. I never had my rookie season.”

He knows why.
Julio Franco was just entering the prime of his career, and they weren't going to move Julio off shortstop?
   4. whoisalhedges Posted: September 16, 2011 at 01:24 PM (#3926774)
With the Reds' situation at shortstop, and with Dusty Baker managing, I'm surprised they didn't at least sign him to a minor league contract.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2011 at 01:37 PM (#3926785)
So how cool would it be if they could get this guy in the game?

I've seen college and HS basketball teams do this with players who've suffered career ending injuries. The opponents let the injured player score an unopposed basket, and then the other team reciprocates.

In a game with no playoff implications, how about if they let Len lead-off the game, and give him an intentional walk to get him in the Baseball Encyclopedia. Then the Reds could walk the opponents lead off hitter intentionally to square the deal.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 16, 2011 at 01:41 PM (#3926788)
I'm assuming the Reds had to outbid the Giants for him.
   7. Blubaldo Jimenez (OMJ) Posted: September 16, 2011 at 01:46 PM (#3926791)
Harveys, you saw him. False modesty or is he telling the truth?


You will now have the nearest waterway rerouted through your yard.
   8. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 16, 2011 at 01:48 PM (#3926794)
Always busting my chops.

Brings a tear to my eye.......
   9. plim Posted: September 16, 2011 at 01:49 PM (#3926795)
@1: early bird gets the primey
   10. Guapo Posted: September 16, 2011 at 02:23 PM (#3926818)
Survivor bias.
   11. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: September 16, 2011 at 02:24 PM (#3926819)
give him an intentional walk to get him in the Baseball Encyclopedia

he does have a BRref page
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2011 at 02:39 PM (#3926834)
he does have a BRref page

Cool!
   13. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: September 16, 2011 at 02:45 PM (#3926838)
he does have a BRref page
Cool!


although, that page has the strange notation at the top: "Bats: Right, Throws: Unknown"

(the guy WAS a shortstop...)
   14. McCoy Posted: September 16, 2011 at 02:46 PM (#3926839)
BRef Page says he was born in 1914. Falsifying their age even back then to appear younger.
   15. Howie Menckel Posted: September 16, 2011 at 02:47 PM (#3926842)
The BBref page thinks he's only 97. Is Kahny a Hispanic name, and now he's 'fessing up?
   16. Howie Menckel Posted: September 16, 2011 at 02:48 PM (#3926843)
Coke to McCoy. It's Friday, a good pilsener might do the trick.
   17. BDC Posted: September 16, 2011 at 02:55 PM (#3926855)
Was there something in the Reds' infield dirt in those days that led to super-longevity? Billy Werber, Lonny Frey, and Eddie Joost – all of whom passed away in the last few years – are some of the longest-lived teammates ever; now come to find they trained with another infielder who lived to be 100.

Edit: or at least 97.
   18. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: September 16, 2011 at 02:56 PM (#3926858)
Somewhere Brian Sabean senses something ...
   19. McCoy Posted: September 16, 2011 at 03:00 PM (#3926864)
Coke to McCoy. It's Friday, a good pilsener might do the trick.

I'm actually headed out the door right now to pick up some beer for tomorrow's tailgating at the Maryland game. I haven't decided what sort of medley I'm going to get just yet.
   20. The Ghost fouled out, but stays in the game Posted: September 16, 2011 at 03:09 PM (#3926874)
Pretty cheeky to be asking for more money back during the depression.

"Northside Boy Playing Sensationally for Reds." When I lived in Cincinnati in the 70's, Northside was a little neighborhood that seemed like it had never emerged from the depression. A gf of mine rented an apartment there for less than anything I'd ever heard of - $75/month.
   21. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: September 16, 2011 at 03:14 PM (#3926880)
I saw Kahny played for Mt. Airy, so I thought to look up when Andy Griffith was born. The first hit on Google is Wikipedia, which says this:

Andy Samuel Griffith (born June 1, 1926, died September 14, 2011)

Apparently you can't trust Wikipedia though.
   22. zachtoma Posted: September 16, 2011 at 03:58 PM (#3926932)
I thought it was going about him being called up... to heaven.
   23. The District Attorney Posted: September 16, 2011 at 04:05 PM (#3926934)
Only in baseball…
Doesn't have to be! Let's see a 100-year-old guy knocked into the boards in an NHL game, or play offensive line against the Ravens.
   24. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 16, 2011 at 04:44 PM (#3926972)
How about a 52 year old playing all 80 games of an NHL season and scoring 15 goals?
   25. DanG Posted: September 16, 2011 at 04:54 PM (#3926977)
So how cool would it be if they could get this guy in the game?
Very easily done. Just give him a Snow job.
   26. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: September 16, 2011 at 05:26 PM (#3927019)
How about a 52 year old playing all 80 games of an NHL season and scoring 15 goals?


Would that be Gordie Howe? I know he was positively ancient when he was skating with his sons for the WHA's Aeros.
   27. John Northey Posted: September 16, 2011 at 06:14 PM (#3927085)
Good ol' Howe.
http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/h/howego01.html
First played semi-pro at 15, reached the NHL at 18 in 1946. Last NHL game was in 1980 (3rd in games played that season). Final pro-game was in 1997 at age 69 with the Detroit Vipers of the IHL and nearly scored a goal. In '77/78 he was 7th in the WHL for assists at age 49.

Now _that_ is longevity.
   28. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 16, 2011 at 06:29 PM (#3927108)
Gordie also exhibited talent in other areas.
   29. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: September 16, 2011 at 06:30 PM (#3927111)
He knows why.

“The truth is, back in my day, ballplayers were for ####.”
   30. McCoy Posted: September 16, 2011 at 06:40 PM (#3927126)
For anyone interested besides getting the staples I also picked up Flying Dog Dogtoberfest, Heavy Seas Red Sky at night, Harpoon Leviathan, and McSorley's Irish Black Lager. Never tried any of them before.
   31. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 16, 2011 at 06:47 PM (#3927137)
Is playing the field (or pitching, or batting) in a wheelchair permissible according to the rules?

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