The Long Way to Philadelphia: The Strange Route Leading Rube Waddell To Join The Philadelphia Athletics

By Joe Niese

This article was published in the 2013 The National Pastime.

George Edward “Rube” Waddell was an original oddball lefty, who could endear himself to fans, provide fodder for sportswriters, and alienate his teammates and manager. He was also immensely talented. Hijinks notwithstanding, he was the premier power pitcher in the opening decade of the 1900s. The enigmatic Waddell struggled during the first few years of his professional career though, and was lucky just to be a .500 pitcher. It was not until Connie Mack coerced him into coming to the Philadelphia Athletics in June 1902 that Waddell was finally . . .

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