Death Row Inmates In Wyoming Played Baseball To Decide Their Fate
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The Wyoming State Penitentiary All Stars were not a normal baseball team, as you probably gathered from their name.
They played their first game on 18 July 1911 with a 12-man team comprised of three rapists, a forger, five thieves and three killers.
For this team of death row inmates, the stakes could not be higher; win, and they were told their sentences would be reduced - but an error that cost the team was quite literally a death sentence.
Clearly, this was hardly a fair form of justice, but it was befitting of Rawlins, Wyoming, at the time.
"Desperadoes caught in the act of robbery, rape or murder in the town were not only hanged but sometimes actually skinned," wrote Chris Enss and Howard Kazanjian in their book Death Row All Stars: A Story of Baseball, Corruption and Murder.
"Various items were made from the hides of these unfortunate lawbreakers, sold as souvenirs, and used as a warning to other would-be felons."
The team essentially died along with its star player, murderer Joseph Seng, who was hanged in 1912.
You can read a load more about the short-lived team in Death Row All Stars, which you can buy here.
The synopsis reads: "It was the golden age of baseball, and all over the country teams gathered on town fields in front of throngs of fans to compete for local glory.
"In Rawlins, Wyoming, residents lined up for tickets to see slugger Joseph Seng and the rest of the Wyoming Penitentiary Death Row All Stars as they took on all comers in baseball games with considerably more at stake.
"Teams came from Reno, Nevada; Klamath Falls, Oregon; Bodie, California; and throughout the west to take on the murderers who made up the line-up.
"This is a fun and wildly dramatic and suspenseful look at the game of baseball and at the thrilling events that unfolded at a prison in the wide-open Wyoming frontier in pursuit of wins on the diamond."
In far more recent times (just over a week ago), the state of South Carolina introduced legislation which will force inmates to choose between a firing squad and the electric chair as a means of execution if the drugs required for lethal injection are not available.
The state's governor, Henry McMaster, signed the bill into law following a 10-year pause on executions due to a lack of drugs used for lethal injections.
Featured Image Credit: The Death Row All Stars
Topics: SPORT, Death Row, Baseball, Interesting, crime