On Christmas day, 2009, the Mets signed an obscure knuckleballer named R.A. Dickey. The cynical Mets’ fans whispered to each other that the Wilpon family, owners of the franchise, were broke, as a result of the Bernie Madoff scandal, and all they could afford to sign was a mediocre 35 year old career nomad, who had been tried and discarded by four major league franchises.

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Nick Altrock was arguably one of the best southpaws in baseball at one time, but a love for malt liquor, and a happy-go-lucky attitude, contributed to his increasing ineffectiveness. Several years after being the hero of the World Series, he found himself struggling in the Minors.

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*It should be noted that use of the Razzball Glossary is highly suggested in order to make any sense of the Title Heading of this article. It is likely that the development of  Razzball’s own unique symbolic system may well create the long-term effect of the formation of a Greygambelian cult, but that is outside the parameters of this article.

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It could be said that Mark Fidrych had the briefest, most spectacular pitching career in the history of baseball. He was 21 when he made the roster of the Detroit Tigers in 1976. He did not make his first start until May 15th that year, and then only because the starting pitcher was out with the flu.

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Arlie Latham was one of the most colorful and biggest stars on Charley Comiskey’s rowdy St. Louis Brown squads of the 1880′s. There were no coaches back in baseball’s infancy; each player used to take turns coaching 1st and 3rd base.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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