Senseless Early Century Baseball Murders, Continued by Carson Cistulli September 26, 2014 Sam Crane was a major-league shortstop with Philadelphia and other assorted clubs at varying points between 1914 and 1922, during which interval he produced something fewer than a replacement number of wins over 549 plate appearances. Among the even less commendable entries found within his curriculum vitae is the episode recounted above by the editors of Reading Eagle in 1929 — i.e. the double murder of a recent ex-girlfriend and her male caller in August of that same year. As both the Eagle’s and also other accounts declare, Crane loaded a pistol drunkenly one evening, somehow found his way to a speakeasy where his formerly beloved was passing the time, and then shot both her and a ukulele-playing brick salesman with whom she was socializing. Perhaps due to having peered so deeply into the void and having recognized, at that point, the absurdity that lay within it, Crane exhibited a capacity for dark humor. Entering police headquarters a few hours after the shooting, he approached an officer. “I’m told I shot somebody,” he said, utilizing what may or may not be a instance of the rhetorical device litotes.