Monday July 13th, 2009

A Selection

From Cait Murphy’s spirited Crazy ‘08: How a Cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads, and Magnates Created the Greatest Year in Baseball History:

In 1903, [pitcher Rube] Waddell had a good season; once he finally bothered to show up in June, he won twenty-one games and led the league in strikeouts (with 302). It was a busy year in other ways, too: he also starred on vaudeville; led a marching band through Jacksonville; got engaged, married, and separated; rescued a log from drowning (he thought it was a woman); accidentally shot a friend; and was bitten by a lion. . . . Among his more respectable hobbies were chasing fires (he adored fire engines) and wrestling alligators; he once taught geese to skip rope. Hughie Jennings, manager of the Tigers, used to try to distract him from the sidelines by waving children’s toys.