The most famous player prior to Babe Ruth Rube Waddell set pitching records that stood for generations In fact Waddell died before Ruth swatted his first homer As baseballs attention turned to hitters it wasnt until Bob Fellers run at Rubes single season strikeout record that people looked back at the free spirited lefthander who turned baseball on its ear Unfortunately thirty two years passed between Rubes death and Fellers run the memories of sportswriters and former managers like Connie Mack had distorted with time So stories told about Rubestories still told todaytook shape in predictable forms but failed to get the details right In Just a Big Kid The Life and Times of Rube Waddell Paul Proia looks at what people wrote when Rube was alive and double checks the memories of the players managers and writers who watched him pitch and loved to tell stories about the greatest personality of his generation
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