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Encyclopedia > Rube Waddell
Rube Waddell

Rube Waddell Image File history File links Size of this preview: 333 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (356 × 640 pixel, file size: 57 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Rube Waddell pitcher baseball card. ...

Personal Info
Birth October 13, 1876, Bradford, Pennsylvania
Death: April 1, 1914, San Antonio, Texas
Professional Career
Debut September 8, 1897, Louisville Colonels vs. Baltimore Orioles, Union Grounds
Team(s) Louisville Colonels (1897, 1899)
Pittsburgh Pirates (1900-01)
Chicago Orphans (1901)
Philadelphia Athletics (1902-07)
St. Louis Browns (1908-10)
HOF induction: 1946
Career Highlights
  • Won Triple Crown for pitchers (1905: 27-10, 287, 1.48)
  • 4-time 20-game winner (24, 21, 25, 27: 1902-05)
  • Two ERA titles (1900, 1905), along with two second-place finishes in the category
  • Six consecutive strikeout titles (1902-07)
  • Led his league eight times in strikeouts per nine innings (1900, 1902-1908; he finished second in 1901)
  • Set league record for strikeouts in a game (16, 1908)
  • Set record for strikeouts in a season (349, 1904)
  • First pitcher to strike out the side on just nine pitched balls (July 2, 1902)
  • Collected 50 shutouts.

George Edward Waddell (October 13, 1876 - April 1, 1914) was an American left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball. In his thirteen-year career he played for the Louisville Colonels (1897, 1899), Pittsburgh Pirates (1900-01) and Chicago Orphans (1901) in the National League, and the Philadelphia Athletics (1902-07) and St. Louis Browns (1908-10) in the American League. Waddell earned the nickname "Rube" because he was a big, fresh kid. The term was commonly used to refer to hayseeds or farmboys. He was born in Bradford, Pennsylvania. October 13 is the 286th day of the year (287th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1876 (MDCCCLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Bradford is a small city located in rural McKean County, Pennsylvania, in the United States 78 miles (126 km) south of Buffalo, New York. ... April 1 is the 91st day of the year (92nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1914 (MCMXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... 1897 (MDCCCXCVII) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... The Louisville Colonels were a Major League Baseball team that played in the American Association throughout that leagues ten-year existence from 1882 until 1891, first as the Louisville Eclipse (1882- 1884) and later as the Louisville Colonels (1885 -1891). ... Union Grounds is a former baseball ground located in Brooklyn, NY. The ground was home to the New York Mutuals of the National Association from 1871 to 1875 and of the National League in 1876, the Brooklyn Eckfords of the National Association in 1872, the Brooklyn Atlantics of the National... The Louisville Colonels were a Major League Baseball team that played in the American Association throughout that leagues ten-year existence from 1882 until 1891, first as the Louisville Eclipse (1882- 1884) and later as the Louisville Colonels (1885 -1891). ... Major league affiliations National League (1887–present) Central Division (1994–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 1, 4, 8, 9, 20, 21, 33, 40, 42 Name Pittsburgh Pirates (1891–present) Pittsburgh Innocents (1890) Pittsburg Alleghenies (1882–1889) (Also referred to as Infants in 1890) Ballpark PNC Park (2001–present) Three Rivers... Major league affiliations National League (1876–present) Central Division (1994–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 10, 14, 23, 26, 42 Name Chicago Cubs (1902–present) Chicago Orphans (1898-1901) Chicago Colts (1890-1897) Chicago White Stockings (1870-1889) (a. ... Major league affiliations American League (1901–present) West Division (1969–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 9, 27, 34, 42, 43, (As) Name Oakland Athletics (1968–present) Kansas City Athletics (1955-1967) Philadelphia Athletics (1901-1954) (Referred to as As) Ballpark McAfee Coliseum (1968–present) a. ... Major league affiliations American League (1901–present) East Division (1969–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 4, 5, 8, 20, 22, 33, 42 Name Baltimore Orioles (1954–present) St. ... The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, located at 25 Main Street in Cooperstown, New York, is a semi-official museum operated by private interests serving as the central point for the study of the history of baseball in the United States and beyond, the display of baseball-related... See also: 1945 in sports, other events of 1946, 1947 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Baseball January 23: Hall of Fame election: The writers vote again fails to select an inductee, despite a newly revamped voting process. ... In baseball, the Triple Crown refers to: A batter who (at seasons end) leads the league in three major categories -- home runs, runs batted in, and batting average. ... In baseball statistics, earned run average (ERA) is the mean of earned runs given up by a pitcher per nine innings pitched. ... In baseball, a shutout refers to a game in which one team wins without allowing the opposing team to score any runs. ... October 13 is the 286th day of the year (287th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1876 (MDCCCLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... April 1 is the 91st day of the year (92nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1914 (MCMXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The Louisville Colonels were a Major League Baseball team that played in the American Association throughout that leagues ten-year existence from 1882 until 1891, first as the Louisville Eclipse (1882- 1884) and later as the Louisville Colonels (1885 -1891). ... Major league affiliations National League (1887–present) Central Division (1994–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 1, 4, 8, 9, 20, 21, 33, 40, 42 Name Pittsburgh Pirates (1891–present) Pittsburgh Innocents (1890) Pittsburg Alleghenies (1882–1889) (Also referred to as Infants in 1890) Ballpark PNC Park (2001–present) Three Rivers... Major league affiliations National League (1876–present) Central Division (1994–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 10, 14, 23, 26, 42 Name Chicago Cubs (1902–present) Chicago Orphans (1898-1901) Chicago Colts (1890-1897) Chicago White Stockings (1870-1889) (a. ... The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the National League, is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada and the worlds oldest extant professional team sports league. ... Major league affiliations American League (1901–present) West Division (1969–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 9, 27, 34, 42, 43, (As) Name Oakland Athletics (1968–present) Kansas City Athletics (1955-1967) Philadelphia Athletics (1901-1954) (Referred to as As) Ballpark McAfee Coliseum (1968–present) a. ... Major league affiliations American League (1901–present) East Division (1969–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 4, 5, 8, 20, 22, 33, 42 Name Baltimore Orioles (1954–present) St. ... American League The American League (or formally the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs) is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States of America and Canada. ... Bradford is a small city located in rural McKean County, Pennsylvania, in the United States 78 miles (126 km) south of Buffalo, New York. ...


Waddell was a remarkably dominant strikeout pitcher in an era when batters mostly slapped at the ball to get singles. He had an excellent fastball, a sharp-breaking curve, a screwball and superb control (his strikeout-to-walk ratio was almost 3-to-1). Waddell led the Major Leagues in strikeouts for six consecutive years. The fastball is the most common type of pitch in baseball. ... Curveball grip The curveball is a type of breaking ball in baseball thrown with a grip and hand movement that imparts top spin to the ball. ... Major League Baseball (MLB) is the highest level of play in professional baseball in North America. ...

Contents

Personality issues

Waddell was odd and unpredictable, including a bad a habit of leaving the dugout in the middle of games to follow passing fire trucks to fires, and performed as an alligator wrestler in the offseason. He was an alcoholic for much of his adult life, reportedly spending the entirety of his first signing bonus on a drinking binge (Sporting News called him "the sousepaw"). Waddell's eccentric behavior led to constant battles with his managers and scuffles with bad-tempered teammates; complaints from his teammates forced his trade from Philadelphia to St. Louis in early 1908, despite his importance to the team and his continued success. Recent commentators (such as Bill James) have suggested that Waddell may have suffered from a developmental disability, mental retardation, or autism. Though eccentric and childlike Rube Waddell was not illiterate (as some sources have claimed). The Sporting News (TSN) is an American-based sports newspaper, currently affiliated with the Fox network. ... George William “Bill” James (born October 5, 1949 in Holton, Kansas) is a baseball writer, historian and statistician whose work has been widely influential. ...


Walter Johnson said of Waddell: Walter Perry Johnson (November 6, 1887-December 10, 1946), American professional baseball pitcher. ...

  • "In my opinion, and I suppose if there is any subject that I am qualified to discuss it is pitching, Rube Waddell had more sheer pitching ability than any man I ever saw. That doesn't say he was the greatest pitcher, by a good deal. Rube had defects of character that prevented him from using his talents to the best effect. He is dead and gone, so there is no need for me to enlarge on his weaknesses. They were well enough known. I would prefer to dwell on his strong points. And he had plenty."

Alan Howard Levy, in his book Rube Waddell: The Zany, Brilliant Life of a Strikeout Artist, wrote:

  • "He was among the game's first real drawing cards, among its first honest-to-goodness celebrities, and the first player to have teams of newspaper reporters following him, and the first to have a mass following of idol-worshiping kids yelling out his nickname like he was their buddy."

Cooperstown historian Lee Allen encapsulated Waddell's erratic behavior: For a list of other places, see Cooperstown (disambiguation). ...

  • "He began that year (1903) sleeping in a firehouse in Camden, New Jersey, and ended it tending bar in a saloon in Wheeling, West Virginia. In between those events he won 22 games for the Philadelphia Athletics, played left end for the Business Men's Rugby Football Club of Grand Rapids, Michigan, toured the nation in a melodrama called The Stain of Guilt, courted, married and became separated from May Wynne Skinner of Lynn, Massachusetts, saved a woman from drowning, accidentally shot a friend through the hand, and was bitten by a lion."

The City of Camden is the county seat of Camden County, New Jersey in the United States. ... Nickname: The Friendly City Location in Ohio County in the State of West Virginia Coordinates: Settled 1769 Established 1806 Incorporated 1836  - Mayor Nick Sparachane  - City Manager Robert Herron  - Chief of Police Kevin Gessler, Sr. ... Nickname: Location of Grand Rapids within Kent County, Michigan Coordinates: Country United States State Michigan County Kent Founded 1826 Incorporation (city) 1850 Government  - Mayor George Heartwell Area  - City  45. ... Location in Massachusetts Coordinates: Country United States State Massachusetts County Essex County Settled 1629 Incorporated 1850 Government  - Type Mayor-council city  - Mayor Chip Clancy Area  - City  13. ...

Pitching career

Because of his troubles with alcohol and erratic nature, Waddell's career was checkered. His first pro contract was with Louisville (for $500), though he only pitched two games with the team at the end of the 1897 season. When the season was over, he was loaned to the Detroit Wolverines of the Western League to gain professional seasoning.


Waddell left his next team, Detroit of the Western League, to pitch in Canada before eventually returning to Homestead, PA to pitch semi-pro baseball there. He pitched for Columbus of the Western League in 1899, continued with the team when the franchise moved mid-season to Grand Rapids, and finished with a record of 26-8. He rejoined Louisville in the final month of the 1899 season and won seven of nine decisions. When the National League contracted to eight teams for the 1900 season, Louisville lost its franchise. Louisville's top players, included Waddell, were transferred to Pittsburgh.


Waddell debuted with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1900, leading the National League in ERA. But his erratic behavior led manager Fred Clarke to suspend him. After pitching semi-pro ball in small towns such as Punxsatawney, Connie Mack learned of Waddell's availability, and with Pittsburgh's approval, convinced Waddell to pitch for Milwaukee for several weeks in the summer of 1900. Milwaukee was in the newly-organized American League, which was not yet a direct or legitimate competitor to the NL. When Waddell displayed his prowess for Milwaukee, Pittsburgh asked for Rube to be returned to the club. By 1901, Waddell had worn out his welcome and his contract was sold to the Cubs, who ended up suspending him for the last month of the season-- which Waddell promptly spent pitching for a semi-pro team in Wisconsin. Waddell then joined a barnstorming team that travelled to California. While there, Waddell was convinced to stay and joined the Los Angeles Loo Loos in a league that one year later would become the Pacific Coast League. Connie Mack, now in Philadelphia, was desperate for pitching, and when he learned Rube was pitching in California, he dispatched two Pinkerton agents to sneak Waddell to Philadelphia, where he would lead the Philadelphia Athletics to the 1902 American League crown. Mack later described his star lefthander as "the atom bomb of baseball long before the atom bomb was discovered." Major league affiliations National League (1887–present) Central Division (1994–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 1, 4, 8, 9, 20, 21, 33, 40, 42 Name Pittsburgh Pirates (1891–present) Pittsburgh Innocents (1890) Pittsburg Alleghenies (1882–1889) (Also referred to as Infants in 1890) Ballpark PNC Park (2001–present) Three Rivers... The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the National League, is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada and the worlds oldest extant professional team sports league. ... Barnstorming was a popular form of entertainment in the 1920s in which stunt pilots would perform tricks with airplanes, often in groups as a flying circus. ... There have been three professional baseball teams based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania known as the Philadelphia Athletics: 1. ...


In his career, Waddell had a record of 193-143, 2,316 strikeouts, and a 2.16 earned run average, with 50 shutouts and 261 complete games in 2961 innings pitched. Cincinnati Reds outfielder Adam Dunn strikes out swinging to Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz (not pictured). ... In baseball statistics, earned run average (ERA) is the mean of earned runs given up by a pitcher per nine innings pitched. ... In team sports, a shutout (a clean sheet in soccer) refers to a game in which one team wins without allowing the opposing team to score. ...


In his prime, Rube Waddell was the game's premiere power pitcher. In 1903, Waddell had 302 strikeouts, 115 more than the runner-up (Bill Donovan), and followed that up with 349 strikeouts in 1904, 110 more than the runner-up (Jack Chesbro). No other pitcher would amass two consecutive 300-strikeout seasons until Sandy Koufax in 1965 & 1966. 1900 (MCMIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Friday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar. ... William Edward Donovan (October 13, 1876 – December 9, 1923), nicknamed Wild Bill, was an American pitcher and manager in Major League Baseball, primarily with the Detroit Tigers. ... 1904 (MCMIV) was a leap year starting on a Friday (see link for calendar). ... Jack Chesbro on a 1909-1911 American Tobacco Company baseball card. ... Sanford Koufax (IPA pronunciation: /kofæks/) (born Sanford Braun on December 30, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American former left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played his entire career for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers from 1955 to 1966. ...


Waddell's 349 strikeouts was the modern-era record for more than 60 years, and remains sixth on the modern list. (In 1946, it was initially believed that Bob Feller's 348 strikeouts had broken Waddell's single-season mark. However, research into Waddell's 1904 season revealed uncounted strikeout numbers, lifting him back above Feller.) Waddell still holds the American League single season strikeout record by a left-handed pitcher. Robert William Andrew Feller, nicknamed the The guy who wont sign his great nephews baseballs from Van Meter and Rapid Robert, is an American former Major League Baseball pitcher and Hall of Famer. ...


Final years

After his major league career was over, Waddell pitched for parts of three more years in the minor leagues, including a 20-win season for Minneapolis in 1911.


Rube Waddell died in 1914 in San Antonio, Texas at the age of 37, apparently from the lingering effects of having stood in icy waters doing extensive flood relief work. Nickname: Location in the state of Texas Coordinates: Counties Bexar County Government  - Mayor Phil Hardberger Area  - City  412. ...


He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, located at 62 Main Street in Cooperstown, New York, is a semi-official museum operated by private interests serving as the central point for the study of the history of baseball in the United States and beyond, the display of baseball-related... See previous election: 1945 and next election: 1947 The 1946 elections to select inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame marked a dramatic revision of the methods used one year earlier. ...


In 1981, Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included him in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time. Under what they called "the Smokey Joe Wood Syndrome," they argued in favor of a player of truly exceptional talent whose career was curtailed by injury (or, in Waddell's case, substance abuse), despite not having had career statistics that would quantitatively rank him with the all-time greats. Year 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays the 1981 Gregorian calendar). ... Lawrence S. Ritter (1922 - 2004) was a writer whose specialty was baseball. ... Smokey Joe Wood (October 25, 1889 - July 27, 1985) was a Major League Baseball player for the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians. ...


Highlights

  • Won Triple Crown for pitchers (1905: 27-10, 287, 1.48)
  • 4-time 20-game winner (24, 21, 25, 27: 1902-05)
  • Two ERA titles (1900, 1905), along with two second-place finishes in the category
  • Six consecutive strikeout titles (1902-07)
  • Led his league eight times in strikeouts per nine innings (1900, 1902-1908; he finished second in 1901)
  • Set league record for strikeouts in a game (16, 1908)
  • Set record for strikeouts in a season (349, 1904)
  • On July 1, 1902, Waddell became the first pitcher to strike out three batters on nine pitches, in the third inning of a 2-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
  • Collected 50 shutouts.

In baseball, the Triple Crown refers to: A batter who (at seasons end) leads the league in three major categories -- home runs, runs batted in, and batting average. ... In baseball statistics, earned run average (ERA) is the mean of earned runs given up by a pitcher per nine innings pitched. ... July 1 is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1902 (MCMII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... In Major League Baseball, 37 pitchers have thrown a nine-pitch, three-strikeout half-inning a total of 40 times. ... Major league affiliations American League (1901–present) East Division (1969–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 4, 5, 8, 20, 22, 33, 42 Name Baltimore Orioles (1954–present) St. ... In baseball, a shutout refers to a game in which one team wins without allowing the opposing team to score any runs. ...

Trivia

  • Waddell was the opposing pitcher for Cy Young's perfect game on May 5, 1904, and hit a flyball for the final out. In 1905, Waddell beat Young in a 20-inning game. In 1907, the two men pitched a scoreless 13-inning tie.
  • Negro Leagues star pitcher Rube Foster is said to have acquired his nickname after besting Waddell in a 1904 postseason exhibition game, though some historians dispute that an actual Waddell-Foster matchup ever took place.
  • Rube Marquard, according to his own story, acquired his nickname when a writer compared him favorably to Waddell.
  • Waddell was part of a 15-player trade in December 1899 that also included fellow Hall of Famers Honus Wagner and Jack Chesbro. In truth, it wasn't so much a trade as it was a realignment of talent following a change of ownership. The owners of Louisville purchased the Pittsburgh club and moved all of their best players to Pittsburgh.
  • On August 19, 1900, Waddell pitched the first game of a doubleheader for Milwaukee, winning in the 17th inning on his own triple. His manager, Connie Mack offered Waddell a three-day fishing vacation if he agreed to pitch the second game (which had been shortened to 5 innings). Waddell threw 5 scoreless innings, allowing one single. Waddell also won both halves of a 1902 doubleheader (relieving in the second game).
  • Waddell was so bad at holding onto money that the A's once paid him in dollar bills, in the hopes that he would spend it more slowly. Half of his contract was given directly to his wife, while the rest was doled out as Rube needed it.
  • A provision in Waddell's contract-- inserted at his catcher's insistence-- prohibited Waddell from eating crackers in bed. (Players shared beds on road trips.)
  • On July 29, 1908, Waddell set the AL strikeout record with 16 in a game. This took place against his former Philadelphia A's team, which had traded him away five months earlier as a disruptive influence.
  • Jimmy Austin has claimed that, in 1909, he hit a home run off of a tipsy Waddell who then glared angrily at him during his entire trot around the bases. However, maintaining the 360-degree pivot made Waddell dizzy, and he passed out on the mound. Evidence indicates, however, that this story could not have happened as Jimmy Austin described it[1]. Austin likely merged three different games against Waddell into one memory. In their first meeting, Austin banged out a triple to the deepest part of center field in the first inning, but was stranded by Waddell, who retired the rest of the batters in order. In their second meeting, Waddell was removed from a game after being hit by a batted ball. In their third meeting, Austin likely faced a Waddell who had been bored by playing for a poor Browns club. In that game, Austin batted with runners on first and second and bunted. Rube twisted as he threw to third - and got the force out. However, he feigned injury and appeared less than cooperative to manager Jimmy McAleer, so McAleer pulled Waddell from the game. Oddly, Austin was removed from the bases when he tried to advance an extra base on a single to left field.
  • Waddell led his league in strikeouts in every season from 1902 through 1907. During this six-year stretch, he had 1,576 strikeouts, while the aggregate total of all six runners-up was 1,180.

For the Disney animator, see Cy Young (animator). ... Pitcher David Cone (left) of the New York Yankees reacting to the completion of his perfect game with catcher Joe Girardi on July 18, 1999. ... Part of the History of baseball series. ... Andrew Rube Foster (September 17, 1879 - December 9, 1930) was an American baseball player, manager, and executive in the Negro Leagues. ... Rube Marquard of the New York Giants at West Side Park, Chicago, in 1909. ... Honus Wagner Johannes Peter Wagner (February 24, 1874 - December 6, 1955), nicknamed Honus and The Flying Dutchman, is considered one of the greatest players in the history of major league baseball. ... Jack Chesbro on a 1909-1911 American Tobacco Company baseball card. ... Connie Mack baseball card, 1910 Cornelius Alexander Mack (December 22, 1862 – February 8, 1956), born Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy, was an American professional baseball player, manager, and team owner. ...

References

External links

Preceded by
Vic Willis
National League ERA Champion
1900
Succeeded by
Jesse Tannehill
Preceded by
Cy Young
American League Strikeout Champion
1902-1907
Succeeded by
Ed Walsh
Preceded by
Cy Young
American League Pitching Triple Crown
1905
Succeeded by
Walter Johnson
Preceded by
Addie Joss
American League ERA Champion
1905
Succeeded by
Doc White

  Results from FactBites:
 
Rube Waddell - definition of Rube Waddell in Encyclopedia (238 words)
Waddell had an excellent fastball, a sharp-breaking curve, a screwball and superb control (his strikeout-to-walk ratio was almost 3-to-1).
In his career, Waddell had a record of 193-143, 2316 strikeouts, and a 2.16 earned run average, with 50 shutouts and 261 complete games in 2961 innings pitched.
Rube Waddell died in San Antonio, Texas at 37 years of age.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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