I was just wondering if any of you knew any overlooked stories from history that were especially interesting.
Any particular time period or era that you’re interested in??
I was thinking at some point in the 19th/20th century, hopefully, though whatever will do.
history is so absolutely broad. i’m into baseball history and could possibly share a few from that, but that’s not everybody’s cup of tea.
I don’t mind a good baseball fact or two!
I’d suggest looking into Rube Waddell. He straddles a lot of lines, including the 19th/20th century, but he had a thunderbolt for a left arm and held the strikeout record for 50 years. He struck out 349 in the 1904 season while his next closest competitor had 239. He was decades before his time, but it’s a really good thing he came about when he did, because had he not, he likely would have been institutionalized.
He had a litany of bad habits, including eating crackers in bed, which drove his roommates and managers crazy. Eventually Connie Mack and Ossie Shreckengost contained him, but Mack paid him in very small increments to keep him from his various bad habits. He could often go missing before big games, either on drinking benders or just under the bleachers playing marbles with kids. If a firetruck could be heard from the pitchers mound, he would leave his position and the ballpark to chase after it. Opposing players often held up puppies or shiny objects in attempt to distract him. I can’t say it didn’t work.
He was born on mischief night and that seemed to follow him his entire life. He was married to several women at once, would often enter the field naked, and dress on his way to the mound.
e: I’ve just seen he was born on the 13th of October. That does not fit my narrative.
In the offseason, while his teammates were painting houses or selling insurance, he went to Florida and wrestled alligators. He also taught geese how to skip rope.
One day, he saw a black family who had been hit by a flood. and stripped to his underwear to help them evacuate. He caught pneumonia and died on April Fools day, 1914.
When he came into the league, a Rube was a hayseed, a country bumpkin that didn’t know the first thing about city life, but by the time he was done, Rube would be a nickname given to two other hall of fame talents because of their ability to throw a fastball. Rube Foster, the father of the American Negro League was one, and Rube Marquard of the New York Giants was the other. Marquard was born in Cleveland, Ohio, hardly the sticks that former Rubes would come from.
I’ve long held that before Rube died, left handers were completely normal. When he died, his atoms spread to the winds, and infected lefties all over the world. Because Rube lived, Turk Wendell brushed his teeth between innings.
I love Rube Waddell, and with my wife’s blessing, I was able to name our daughter Ruby. She’s only a year old, but maybe someday, her left arm will be a lightningbolt or she’ll transform the world in some other way.
That’s really cool! Thanks!