There were scores of eccentrics, flakes, and colorful, picturesque characters in the history of the national pastime. However, none of them hold a candle to George “Rube” Waddell. His outlandish behavior is documented in countless stories, some of them no doubt susceptible to apocryphal exaggerations, but with the Rube, it was often difficult to discern fact from fiction.Please, blog, may I have some more?
In a prior article posted in Razzball, “An Audacious Account of the Evolution of the Rules of Baseball,” I touched upon the various exploits of Michael “King” Kelly. However, some of Kelly’s antics were so outrageous, so entertaining, and his impact on the evolution of the game so profound, that I thought that he was deserving of his own article.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Most players answer questions yes or no. I end up with a two-page dissertation on the Coriolis effect on how the ball spins. I’m not putting people on. I’m telling the truth. But people consider me flaky. The word “sinister” comes from the Latin word for left-handed, you know.Please, blog, may I have some more?
About five weeks ago, Andrew L, one of the managers in our RCL League (The ECFBL), was perusing the names of some of the players chosen in the recent MLB draft. Dominating the headlines were Trevor Gretzky, the son of Wayne Gretzky, arguable the greatest player in the history of hockey, as well as Pudge Jr, However, the San Diego Padres drafted an outfielder from Valparaiso University, named Kyle Gaedele, in the sixth round. Kyle happens to be a great-nephew to Eddie Gaedel, who was, of course, Bill Veeck’s midget, who would achieved baseball immortality.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The date: October 14, 1908. The place: Bennet Field, Detroit. The event: Game 5 of the World Series. On that day, Orval Overall of the Chicago Cubs outpitched the Tigers’ ace Billy Donovan, winning the clinching game of the World Series 2-0. Overall allowed the Tigers just three hits and had a formidable ten Ks. Outstanding ballplayers in that series included the incomparable Georgia Peach, Ty Cobb; the immortal infield combination of Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance; and ace Mordecai “Three-Fingered” Brown, who would have likely been MVP of the Series if that award had been offered at the time. There were only 6,210 fans in attendance that day; little did they know that they were witnessing the last Cubs World Series triumph in a century, and still counting. In 1908, the Cubs had built not only the first baseball, but also the first all-sports, dynasty in the Modern Era. The Cubs had appeared in three consecutive World Series and had won two back-to-back titles over the Tigers; the only blemish was an inexplicable loss to the Chicago White Sox in 1906 when the “Hitless Wonders” won the title despite batting under .200 as a team. It should be noted that in 1906 the Cubs had 116 wins, a record that was tied by the Mariners 116 wins in 2001. Since the Cubs played 12 fewer games that season than the Mariners, their winning percentage (.763) remains the highest in baseball history.Please, blog, may I have some more?
According to baseball mythos, on a spring day in the year 1839, in the bucolic town of Cooperstown, New York, Abner Doubleday, who would later be a hero at the Battle of Gettysburg, sat down and composed the Rules of Baseball.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Going back to the long-lost days of my youth, I have always been captivated by baseball lore and anecdotes. In one of the first books I devoured on the subject listed the players that were found worthy of enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.Please, blog, may I have some more?