Wyoming Prison Baseball Team Was The Original ‘Murderer’s Row’
Before Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig led the New York Yankees to the World Series, the original "murderer's row" was playing for their lives in Rawlins, Wyo. In 1911, the Wyoming State Penitentiary All-Stars took the field with a lineup featuring three convicted murderers.
The team was created by prison officials, who took bets on the games and threatened to impose consequences on prisoners who played poorly. According to the book "The Death Row All Stars: A Story of Baseball, Corruption, and Murder”, players were warned they would be killed for mistakes on the field. Luckily for the inmates, they never lost. In four games, the "Cons" went undefeated, trouncing their opponents by a combined score of 48-16.
Led by captain George Saban and star catcher Joseph Seng, both convicted murderers, the All-Stars made so much money for local gamblers, Saban was allowed to come and go from the prison at will. Seng played so well, his scheduled execution was delayed.
After media outlets exposed the state-wide gambling ring, the team was quickly disbanded. Seng was hung the following year. Meanwhile, Saban escaped with help from a guard who had made a handsome sum betting on the team.