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Rube Waddell
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Baseball Player
    (October 13, 1876-April 1, 1914)
    Born in Bradford, Pennsylvania
    Birth name was George Edward Waddell
    Pitched for the Louisville Colonels (1897-99), Pittsburgh Pirates (1900-01), Chicago Orphans (1901), Philadelphia Athletics (1902-07) and St. Louis Browns (1908-10)
    Career record of 193-143, 2316 strikeouts and 2.16 ERA
    Won the AL pitching triple crown (1905)
    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame (1946)
    Despite his pitching prowess, his erratic behavior frequently caused him to be traded or suspended.
    He spent his entire first signing bonus in a drinking binge.
    He would frequently disappear without explanation and miss scheduled games.
    His managers resorted to paying him a few dollars at a time and assigning teammates to babysit him.
    He was suspended five games for climbing into the stands to beat up a heckler (1905).
    His second wife frequently had him jailed for non-support.
    Baseball historian Bill James said the only place a modern-day Waddell could compete is the Special Olympics.
    He may have suffered from autism or some other developmental disability.
    Walter Johnson said, ‘Rube Waddell had more sheer pitching ability than any man I ever saw.’
    He led the AL in strikeouts six consecutive seasons (1902-07).
    His career strikeout to walk ratio was nearly 3 to 1.
    His 349 strikeouts in 1905 stood as the modern-era record for sixty years, until Sandy Koufax fanned 382 in 1965.
    He wrestled gators in the off-season.
    He was one of baseball’s biggest drawing cards at the turn of the century.
    A’s first baseman Harry Davis said, ‘Too much was made of his eccentricities and too little of the other side of his nature. Waddell had a kind and lovable disposition which showed itself in many ways.’

Credit: C. Fishel


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