Episode 12: Dollop: Rube Waddell

You can’t get rid of the fire truck in his heart.

Tweeted this yesterday:

The happy part? The movie, starring Robin Williams, already exists in my head, and the synergy between those two amazing personalities gives me a certain joy. Miss you, Robin. All the time.
Also: Why is this not a country song, old-school? “The Ballad of Rube Waddell”?
My husband’s answer: “Because it would be ten minutes long. And too awesome for people to handle.”
We need to get on this, pronto. This needs to be a half-spoken, half-sung, eight-track, moody and nostalgic, raise your glasses, jukebox country ballad to the Rube ASAP.
(If any of you young’uns ask me what an eight-track is, I will make you watch the video of Gwyneth Paltrow talking about how being mean to water changes its chemical composition. On repeat. Capiche?)
By the by, his real name was George Edward Waddell, 1876-1914, b. Bradford, Pennsylvania.
Rube really reminds me of my younger brother, but that is another story for another entry. This entry belongs to the Rube.

Rube Waddell's tobacco card
Rube’s tobacco collector’s card
Rube at BaseballLibrary.com
his stats at baseball-reference.com
Because teams changed names, conferences…everything was more fluid in baseball’s beginnings…and Rube liked to meander, this list may not be complete. Please feel free to add teams I have missed in the comments.

  • Detroit Wolverines
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Chicago Orphans (I like to think their mascot was the original comic-book Little Orphan Annie, creepy no-pupil eyes and all)
  • Los Angeles Loo Loos (my personal favorite)
  • Minneapolis Millers
  • Minneapolis Rough Riders
  • St. Louis Browns
  • Philadelphia Athletics
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Louisville Colonels

1946: posthumously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame: main site, and his entry, where his main team is listed as the Philadelphia Athletics, where he was managed by Connie Mack, aka Cornelius McGillicuddy.

National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

25 Main Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326
Phone: 1-888-HALL-OF-FAME | 607-547-7200 | Fax: 607-547-2044
From the Hall of Fame, Rube’s stats:
Hall of Fame: Rube's stats
Finally, fire trucks. He was fascinated with the fire brigade and firemen since early childhood. At the age of three, in 1879, he ran away from home and stayed at a local firehouse for several days.

This one’s for you, buddy.
Just a Big Kid: The Life and Times of Rube Waddell * Paul Proia
Rube Waddell: The Zany, Brilliant Life of a Strikeout Artist * Alan Howard Levy
Ken Burns’ Baseball:
book: Baseball: An Illustrated History
documentary: Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns (Includes the Tenth Inning)

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