Lou Novikoff: Loaded Explanation

"As a Cub, Lou Novikoff would chase deep fly balls only so far in Wrigley Field, purposely letting them sail over his head. Novikoff explained to his infuriated manager, Charlie Grimm, that he was afraid of the ivy on Wrigley's wall. Novikoff's plantophobia became apparent when he was with the minor-league Los Angeles Angels. Their home field was also called Wrigley and, you guessed it, its walls were also covered with vines. Lou's wife, Esther, would boo her husband each time he came to the plate.

"Perhaps still reeling from being publicly heckled by his old lady, Novikoff once stole third even though he realized the bases were loaded. As you can imagine, Lou had some 'splainin' to do when he got back to the bench after that one. 'I had such a good jump on the pitcher that I just couldn't resist.'"

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