Cleveland Indians Attempted To Switch Confiscated Bats But Were Caught

Published on January 3rd, 2024 1:16 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

Cleveland Indians and the Corked Bat Fiasco. It's like something out of "Mission Impossible".

A confiscated item. A person climbing through a ventilation system to retrieve said item.

In 1994, the Cleveland Indians were playing the Chicago White Sox.

At the time, Albert Belle of the Cleveland Indians was one of the best hitters in the league. In 1993, Belle hit 38 home runs and 129 RBIs.

The White Sox thought that something was off with Belle, and they suspected him of corking his bat, which is illegal.

During a game in 1994, the White Sox asked that the umpires inspect Belle's bat.

As per baseball's rules at the time, the umpires confiscated the bat and continued with the game, with the bat to be examined by an expert.


Belle was the best player on the Indians.

Belle was also corking his bat. We don't know if the Indians KNEW that Belle was corking his bat before the game, or if Belle told them after the bat had been confiscated.

Whatever the case was, the Cleveland Indians went into panic mode, as they couldn't afford to lose their best player.


A crazy scheme was hatched after the game - the bat was going to be retrieved and replaced with one that conformed to the rules.

Jason Grimsley, a pitcher for the Indians, was dispatched to replace the bat.

Grimsley, who weighed just 180 pounds and had a slight build, navigated his way through a building ventilation system to the room where the confiscated bat was being held.

Grimsley replaced Belle's corked bat with the bat of his teammate, Paul Sorrento.

The bat was retrieved and the Indians had gotten away with it!

Or so they thought.


The Indians forgot to consider one simple fact - the new bat had Paul Sorrento's name on it.

The umpire crew immediately smelled a rat and called in Major League Baseball to investigate.

The Indians were found out and Albert Belle was caught.

Belle ended up with a 7-game suspension as a result of the corked bat fiasco, and the Indians were left as a laughing stock.

This was definitely not Oceans 11 for the Cleveland Indians.

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