|1982 Fleer # 220||1984 Fleer # 230|
In a home game [May 26, 1982], against the Montreal Expos, the Houston Astros relief pitcher started the tenth inning of a 0 - 0 game by walking three batters in a row. LaCorte, who had yet to win a game that year, was summarily yanked. By the time he plopped in front of his locker, his reliever [George Cappuzzello] had given up a run-producing sacrifice fly and a three-run homer for a 4-0 Astros loss.|
LaCorte was flaming mad and had to do something to vent his rage. After several previous poor outings, he had destroyed clubhouse trash cans and broken teammates' bats. This time he stripped off his uniform, pulled out a book of matches, and set fire to his jersey.
Slumped over the charred remains, LaCorte told reporters, "That jersey took a long time to burn. Took a lot of matches. It doesn't burn easily, but it burns long."
Then he requested a new number from the club. He didn't want number 31 anymore, because he was tired of running up so many 3-and-1 counts. He received a new number (27) and a new jersey--and a $250 fine for burning his old uniform.
Taken and edited for niceness from the rather-incendiary-itself
The Baseball Hall of Shame 2,
by Bruce Nash and Allan Zullo, 1986, Pocket Books