Wyatt: Waddell the ‘Rube’

From Daniel Wyatt at The National Pastime Museum on June 29, 2015:

Rube Waddell was born on Friday the thirteenth and passed away on April Fool’s Day. He was destined to be a true-blue flake. A southpaw pitcher for teams who tolerated him at the turn of the twentieth century, he loved the bottle so much that the Sporting News once referred to him as “the sousepaw.”

Waddell had very few school days to his credit. He was a hick. A kook. A nutcase. In one off-season, he wrestled alligators. In another, he worked for a theatre group as an actor, although a bad one. He was known to enter the occasional bar, have a few stiff shots, then mix drinks for the patrons. He also had a strange fascination with fire trucks, which he liked to follow to their destination. There was never a dull moment with Rube Waddell around. He was a kid in a man’s body: all six-foot-one and 200 pounds of him.

But how many true-blue flakes make it into the Hall of Fame? Not many. Waddell did it in 1946, 32 years after leaving this earth at the tender age of 37, forever remembered as the dominant southpaw in the Deadball Era, a pitcher with pinpoint control, a flaming fastball, an exceptional curve, and a crazy screwball.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/waddell-rube

Originally published: July 1, 2015. Last Updated: July 1, 2015.