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Part One of this series can be found here. This is Part Two of this this series can be found here.  This is Part Threee of a three-part series. 

The year was 1962. The place – the Carlyle Hotel in New York City. A man, in his early 40’s, was observed prancing around the corridors of the Carlyle, tearing off his clothing, The individual’s bodyguards found his antics quite amusing at first, until he began making bizarre paranoid rants, spouted nonsense that was obviously delusional in nature, and apparently was in a psychotic, delusional State. This individual was suffering the effects of an overdose of methamphetamines.

His name was John Fitzgerald Kennedy, at that time the President of the United States.

The POTUS, unbeknownst to him, was a meth addict.

When Robert Kennedy, brother to the President as well as Attorney General, found out about this incident, he was incensed, and threatened bodily harm to Dr. Jacobsen if he didn’t disappear from his brother’s life. However, John was irate when he found that Jacobsen had been summarily booted out of access to the White House, and demanded that his brother bring back the good doctor. Robert attempted to explain the danger of the injections, and John’s erratic actions after overdosing on the chemical, but JFK stated “I don’t care if he’s injecting horse piss, it feels good.” Dr. Jacobsen was soon re-instated to his former status.  Allegedly, Kennedy’s meth addiction had the dangerous result of making him more belligerent during his negotiations with Nikita Khrushchev during the Cuban Missile Crises.

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In the early ‘60’s, a Dr. Max Jacobson claimed that he had invented a secret vitamin formula that both cured pain and gave individuals a remarkable increase in energy. Over the course of the next decade, Dr. Jacobson became the “Doctor of the Stars”, making drug addicts of such luminaries as Marilyn Monroe, singer Eddie Fisher, author Truman Capote, and many others. JFK’s Secret Service gave him the code name “Dr. Feelgood.” Authors Richard A. Lertzman and William J. Birnes wrote a book by using that same moniker, (Skyhorse Publishers); they made the claim that Dr. Feelgood had a profound effects on world events, including Kennedy’s election over the moribund Richard Nixon, the Cuban Missile Crises, and most importantly for us baseball fanatics, on the exciting race for the home run record in 1961 between Mantle and teammate Roger Maris.

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Jacobson claimed that he developed his concoction in the 1930’s, consulting with Dr. Carl Jung; developing and “perfecting” his formula throughout the following years, in his words mixing mind-altering drugs with vitamins, enzymes, animal placentas and hormones, believing that inside his crucible was the key to curing a manifold of different diseases and healing the lucky recipients down to the cellular level. Jacobson’s formula caught the attention of the NAZI Party – he lived in Germany at the time – and the good doctor, who was Jewish, claimed that the formula was altered by the regime’s crew of malevolent scientists, making the soldiers more vicious and bloodthirsty. Eventually he claimed that both Hitler and Eva Braun became addicts.

Escaping the Nazis, Jacobson had a brief tenure in Paris — where he took on celebrity client Anais Nin — then wound up in New York in 1936, establishing a practice on East 72nd Street and Third Avenue. In the years to follow, he’d hone his formula; reconnect with celebrity patients he’d served in Europe such as Nin, director Billy Wilder and author Henry Miller; and take on many new ones, including Nelson Rockefeller, Maria Callas, Bob Fosse, Ingrid Bergman, Leonard Bernstein, Tennessee Williams, director Cecil B. DeMille and writer Rod Serling, who created the nonpareil series, “The Twilight Zone.” One of the great episodes of that series was called “The Mighty Casey.”

Narrator: What you’re looking at is a ghost, once alive but now deceased. Once upon a time, it was a baseball stadium that housed a major-league ball club known as the Hoboken Zephyrs. Now it houses nothing but memories and a wind that stirs in the high grass of what was once an outfield, a wind that sometimes bears a faint, ghostly resemblance to the roar of a crowd that once sat here. We’re back in time now, when the Hoboken Zephyrs were still a part of the National League and this mausoleum of memories was an honest-to-Pete stadium. But since this is strictly a story of make-believe, it has to start this way. Once upon a time, in Hoboken, New Jersey, it was tryout day. And though he’s not yet on the field, you’re about to meet a most unusual fellow, a left-handed pitched named Casey… Once upon a time there was a major-league baseball team called the Hoboken Zephyrs who, during the last year of their existence, wound up in last place and shortly thereafter wound up in oblivion. There’s a rumor, unsubstantiated of course, that a manager named McGarry took them to the West Coast and wound up with several pennants and a couple of world’s championships. This team had a pitching staff that made history. Of course, none of them smiled very much, but it happens to be a fact that they pitched like nothing human. And if you’re interested as to where these gentlemen came from, you might check under ‘B’ for baseball, in the Twilight Zone. *Wikipedia

It is alleged that Serling wrote this riveting story when he was under the influence of Dr. Jacobson’s potent concoction.

By LARRY GETLEN

As most baseball aficionados know, Mickey Mantle suffered from a great deal of pain throughout his baseball career. Besides being diagnosed with osteomyelitis, an infection and inflammation of the bone marrow, which almost resulted in amputation of one of his legs as a young man, Mickey had a number of other painful conditions, especially to his knees, and was in agony oftentimes after a game. He was introduced to Dr. Feelgood during the 1961 season, and one could easily attribute his home-run rampage with the relative absence of pain. Then towards the end of the season, when the race for 61 was heating up with Maris at the beginning of September, Mantle was, according to Wikipedia, “…forced to pull out of the race after succumbing to an abscess in his hip joint caused from an injection that was supposed to cure him of a flu.” According to Larry Getlen, however, Mantle actually became a victim of hepatitis as a result of one of Dr. Feelgood’s shots, and the information was covered up by the Yankees medical staff.

………………………..

In a short period of time, permutations of the good Doctor’s shots made the rounds of home-made brew in virtually all of baseball’s clubhouses. Many of the great players of the ’60-70 era apparently frequented the hyper-caffeinated coffee pots which helped produce some of the mythical home run antics of that period of the game. Harmon Killebrew, Frank Howard, Reggie Jackson, and almost every other power hitter of that era likely gulped down the meth-amphetamines which were as taken for granted as all of the other typical accouterments of the game. But unlike today’s steroid users, these players maintain their halos and their mythical exploits are pronounced in hushed terms on the virtual Mt. Rushmore’s and Valhalla’s where baseball’s immortals reside. At the same time, the steroidal antics of baseball’s present elite are paraded around the league in what one may surmise with more than a small amount of hypocrisy by the fans, the media, and especially the upper echelons of bureaucracy which allowed both amphetamines as well as steroids to flourish.

Sources: The Kennedy Meth, Larry Gatlen, NY Post

  1. Butt Buddy says:
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    You never cease to amaze me. So happy to have you write for Razzball. You’re the man, Nuts.

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @Butt Buddy: Exactly this. I’ve loved this entire series Paulie.

      • Paulie Allnuts

        Paulie Allnuts says:
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        @Jay: And thank you Jay, without your editorial expertise all of the vast talent of the Razzball staff would not reach our good readers.

    • Paulie Allnuts

      Paulie Allnuts says:
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      @Butt Buddy: Thanks, Butt Buddy…ah, something about that doesn’t sound right…

  2. Tehol Beddict says:
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    Paulie, you are truly a gift from the Elder Gods. Have you ascended to God-hood yet?

    • Paulie Allnuts

      Paulie Allnuts says:
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      @Jay: @Paulie Allnuts: @Tehol Beddict: Mr. Beddict, thank you much. Actually, I’m still trying to reach Grey-hood, or Rudy-hood, or an amalgamation such as Groodie-hood. Tehol-hood would be a fine place to reside as well. But residing with the gods has its down-side,; one could have a goddess who henpecks like Hera.

  3. Wake Up says:
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    there is always two pots of coffee brewing at my house today I went for leaded really enjoyed this whole series what is that sound is that the fricken cops man that’s the cops isn’t it dammit gotta run be back later when the coast is clear by the way steroids might have saved baseball after the strike no one in MLB wants to admit it oh no that was definitely the cops man gotta run…

    • Paulie Allnuts

      Paulie Allnuts says:
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      @Wake Up: Unfortunately, or fortunately, the second pot of coffee brewing in our adobe is de-caf, or faux-coffee. The days of meth, like the days of wine and roses at the Allnut’s household are long gone. Which is for the best, or otherwise Paulie would not be writing columns anymore, but gibbering in some corner of NJ’s finest asylums, gobbling down the Haldol, Thorazine, and other delectable concoctions.

  4. Philsfan76 says:
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    Great job, Paulie. I love these stories.

    • Paulie Allnuts

      Paulie Allnuts says:
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      @Philsfan76: A Phils and Mets fan can co-exist and enjoy each others virtual company only on Razzball.

  5. Beastman says:
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    Thanks much Paulie, great series. Don’t think I’ve ever read one of Sterling’s intros; that was some incredible writing.

    • Paulie Allnuts

      Paulie Allnuts says:
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      @Beastman: Sterling was one of the geniuses of early TV before it became the vast waste-land. An incredible talent, but before this series, I didn’t know that he was a meth-addict.

  6. Big Al says:
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    As always interesting tidbits on some famous people. Great insight on JFK . He had chronic back pain and was looking for relief from it’s effects. Looks like he traded it for some other effects. Methamphetamines and nuculear war, now there’s a deadly mix. Didn’t know Dr. Juice messed up the home run race between the M&M boys back in 61. But not surprising. Athletes are always looking for The Edge. That one thing that will make them better than everyone else. Athelete’s will always go for The Edge. Because The Edge makes them who they are…. Love your writing Paulie. Keep them coming. Oh and thanks for my Mantle fix. Me and ” The Mick ” go way back…

    • Paulie Allnuts

      Paulie Allnuts says:
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      @Big Al: Thanks, Al, and I know about you and the Mick, and will promise to attempt to throw him in articles even when he doesn’t fit. Talk about a baseball god – he actually hit a home-run that travelled perhaps 700 ft., or would have gone that distance if the façade didn’t bounce it back into right field..

      • Big Al says:
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        @Paulie Allnuts: Imagine if Mantle was on steroids and he probably would have if they where available. Also if I remember right, he was clocked running to first base at 3.1 seconds. Billy Hamilton does it in 3.3. A god he was…. Part Zeus and part Apollo.

        • Paulie Allnuts

          Paulie Allnuts says:
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          @Big Al: Mantle, I believe, still may have the fasting clocking from home to first from the left side of the plate. And that is so even though he had osteomyelitis. He was the Secretariat of baseball players. He and Bo Jackson, that is.

  7. Papa J says:
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    Great series of articles however it is disingenuous to compare steroids to greenies. Greenies allow the user to perform to their abilities even if they don’t feel up to it that day. They do not increase the users performance beyond their normal capabilities. As Bob Costas has said, the production by the PED users is “not authentic”.
    The reality is that steroids make you faster than you are. Quicker than you are. Stronger than you are. Mickey Mantle was Mickey Mantle with or without greenies. Who is Sammy Sosa without steroids? A guy who couldn’t hit 25 homeruns if he batted 800 times a season.
    Steroids were the reason for his success. They were why Brady Anderson cracks over 50 homeruns and then returns to his norm as soon as he signed the free agent contract setting him up for life.
    Maybe Bouton is correct in that many would have taken them had they been available. But, the fact is they weren’t and they didn’t. To draw a parallel between the two may make for good reading, but it does not make it accurate.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      ‘Steroids were the reason for his success’…that’s a pretty naive statement to make. You do realize plenty of bad/mediocre players were on the biogenesis report too, right? Steroids allow you to push through pain either for your next start or to bulk up. When your muscles tear from a workout, steroids help you push through that process. That’s why you see so many of the abusers of it have major falloff in health/production later in their careers because they weren’t careful in how they treated their bodies. Steroids do zero for you in terms of how to hit a baseball. So in essence, both substances allow you to be on the field and ready to go when mayhap you wouldn’t have been otherwise. Drawing that line between the two as you’re wanting to do is a bit of a stretch on your part in that regards.

      • Big Al says:
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        @Sky: Good point. Being able to hit a baseball better than someone else has to do with exceptional hand-eye coordination. Hitting the ball further though, and being able to to stay on the field day after day is where steroids comes in play. Greenies didn’t make you hit the ball further, but it did get you out on the field when your body or your head didn’t want to.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Yes, and even when it ‘helps you hit it further’, the reality is a guy like Melky went from a career high 13 HRs to 18…there is a cutting point to that stance as well and I’d dare say it still didn’t help with the long ball but moreso the ability to have energy to HIT the long ball when you had the opportunity. Too many people gloss over greenies and then point at ‘roids like the gentleman above did and it’s very disconcerting in that it grossly exaggerates what steroids actually do. They help you stay on the field longer and push through injuries, which could come as a detriment to you later in your career if you’re not careful. And through all of this, people have ignored the fact that pitchers are probably a bigger culprit in this little ‘roid game than we’re accepting. Throwing 100+ pitches per game for 30+ starts all year, pushing past dead arm, keeping the MPH up on your fastball…there are a lot of things people try to make ‘roids to the detriment of what it really is there for. Braun will still hit well. But will he play 150 games? I have my doubts. Wouldn’t be surprised if a DL stint that would typically last 15 days stretches to 25 or 30 now for him.

          • costaricanchata says:
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            @Sky:

            swollen head ?

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              If that helps a player, the power of steroids is bigger than I could’ve imagined.

              • Papa J says:
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                Read the quotes from users listed in article. Read the statement in the article using the example of a player hitting ball 360 feet not 330 feet.
                I am quite aware that not every player who uses steroids becomes super star. That was not my point. Steroids allow a person to perform beyond their ability. Greenies allow a player to perform up to their natural ability.
                You use a Melky stat of a 3 home run increase as a limit to their effectiveness. I must have missed the Pirate years when Bonds was hitting 70.
                Frank Thomas was asked when did he know something was wrong “when Sammy hit more home runs than me. I used to take batting practice everyday. Maybe McGwire hits more HR’s than me, but Sammy? Never!”
                In 95 Thomas won an MVP Award and led the league in HR’s with 40. Two years later 10 guys hit over 40 HR’s. Whether the player is taking greenies. Drinking quart bottles of 5 hour energy, you don’t see that happening now.

      • Paulie Allnuts

        Paulie Allnuts says:
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        @Sky: Actually, steroids likely help the border-line major leaguer more then the super-star. The difference between the minor leagues and the big time is measured in light years as far as concerns the comforts of life, and most important, the salary, as well as the pride of the ball-player.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          That’s fair, I can give the jump from minors to majors a thumbs up in terms of steroids being a major boost. Melky is probably a 4th outfielder for most teams and it pushed him into regular player status (or he may prove us wrong this year…TBD). But there’s a lot of hyperbole about what steroids do and don’t do that I hate seeing addressed in such a manner. Whether it’s Sosa or Bonds or whomever from the ‘roid era people want to address, the talent has to be there first for it even to matter. In the end, the simple ‘steroids make you hit better’ statement falls logically flat in multiple ways, hence my jumping in even when it ’tweren’t my article. Speaking of, always a joy to read, Paulie. Keep up the great work.

    • Paulie Allnuts

      Paulie Allnuts says:
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      @Papa J: Papa, what you said is true, but generally speaking, neither is a spitter comparable to PED’s, yet I include them in our story as well under the vast penumbra of Performance enhancing substances. And there is little doubt in my mind that without greenies, there would have been more injuries on the field, and home-run production, as well as production in many other areas, would have fallen. But no greenie ever changed one’s hat size, ’tis true.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Paulie Allnuts: Papa J has clearly not abused Speed, and likely hasn’t even used it to think it doesn’t make you stronger and quicker (and think faster), at least during peak times while using it. It doesn’t just keep you awake longer.

        • Paulie Allnuts

          Paulie Allnuts says:
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          @goodfold2: Yes, some of us know about the meth experience well, from experience. I myself take the 5th

  8. DavidNiven says:
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    Great series Paulie. Thanks man.

    • Paulie Allnuts

      Paulie Allnuts says:
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      @DavidNiven: Thanks, Mr. Niven. I didn’t know that you were an aficionado of my work.

  9. Richard Nebenfuhr says:
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    Great job Pablo….I think it was really encouraging the way the players pushed for more testing and stronger penalties in the new agreement. They too want a clean league which is a fantastic stance. As for the steroid era there will always be a stain even though at the time it was pretty crazy and enjoyable. Keep up the great work…..you should be nominated for a Pulitzer!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Paulie Allnuts

      Paulie Allnuts says:
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      @Richard Nebenfuhr: Thanks, Bro. Nomination more likely for a Razzitzer :)

  10. Birdmann says:
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    solid all I can say is solid, thanks for the read as always.

    • Paulie Allnuts

      Paulie Allnuts says:
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      @Birdmann: Thanks, Birdman!

  11. Al koholic says:
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    wow,many facts i was never aware of,this really was an awesome series,explaining that most eras have used enhancers one way or another.You really out did yourself with this ones facts and research,thanks boss

    • Paulie Allnuts

      Paulie Allnuts says:
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      @Al koholic: Thanks, Kelly, but I offered Jay an extension to the series, and he agreed; there will be a Part IV, with all kinds of stuff including NAZI’s and 19th century pitchers on ‘roids. Just a heads up!

  12. Jon Lizard says:
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    Say it ain’t so Mick. That being said, I’ve heard that pain killers allow you to play up to your potential and steroids allow playing beyond your potential.

    Work ethic causes many to show up on the job loaded with pain killers, still with some pain

    JL

    • Paulie Allnuts

      Paulie Allnuts says:
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      @Jon Lizard: Thanks for adding in your thoughts to this brew, Lizard. As Lizard in training, I appreciate your thoughts and comments.

  13. Jon Lizard says:
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    Say it ain’t so Mick. That being said, I’ve heard that pain killers allow you to play up to your potential and steroids allow playing beyond your potential.

    Work ethic causes many to show up on the job loaded with pain killers, still with some pain

    JL

  14. Papa J says:
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    Here is a great read on the topic: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/magazine/05/29/baseball.steroids/
    For the record Sky, I never said the roid users could not hit a baseball. I am saying that Mantle, Mays, et al were the titans of the game with or without greenies. Can you say McGwire was better than McGriff without roids? Was McGwire better than Thomas or Thome without roids? Was Brady Anderson better than Kenny Lofton? Was Sosa better than Griffey?
    The issue is not whether Bonds was a HOF Player before juicing. It is that many great players had their careers impacted by pretenders.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Hey Papa J, ws definitely not trying to come down on you. Hope that wasn’t taken that way but when you say ‘steroids were the reason for their success’ you are saying a lot more than ‘steroids helped them perform better’. Maybe it’s an issue of wording, not certain, but Sosa could have still been a good hitter.

      We’re gonna have to respectfully disagree here. I do feel like you’re doing an ‘it was better back then’ argument, honestly. You say on the one hand these titans were a class above their surrounding players despite using substances but then say the steroid era doesn’t get the same treatment. Can’t get behind that argument at all. Steroids don’t make you a good hitter nor do greenies. But one is being treated like a magical elixir that changed these hitters to the extreme while the other was just an added bonus to otherwise great players. Just not something I can get behind but I respect your opinion.

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