I remember the game, the runner was not on third and did not score in that inning. By rule, when a fielder throws a ball into the stands, all the base runners are awarded ONE base. Since the runner did not score, the official scorer ruled that the runner advanced on a “fielder’s choice”, so Nixon was not charged with an error. If the base runner had subsequently scored as a result of Nixon’s “choice”, I am sure the official scorer would have ruled it an error, since otherwise the pitch would have unfairly been charged with an earned run.
Understood and thank you for reminding me of that rule. Of course, the intention of the rule was to prevent runners from clearing the bases when an errant throw was made into the stands.
When I was a kid, we played ball by pre-1901 rules. There were three reasons for that:
We considered, for a time, even reverting further back than 1901. Baseball once had a rule that you could score a put out on a base runner by hitting him with a thrown ball legally in play while he was off the base paths. But after careful deliberation, we thought that rule wise to avoid getting someone seriously injured.
People forget that in the beginning days of the game, a baseball was much softer than it is now and often lopsided from extended use.
We laugh when we see those old gloves (little pliability and requiring both hands to make a catch) in museums and such, but some of us kids actually played with those gloves before our parents bought us the more modern versions. This was in the late 1960s, so not so long ago.