During the raids by National League teams on American League teams to acquire the better players in the early part of the 1900s. The American League teams could not beat Waddell but they wanted to keep him in its ranks, he drew tens of thousands of fans.
The Rube under house arrest, banning him from wrestling alligators during the off-season.
Christened "George Edward," the future "Rube" Waddell was also known as "Ed" or "Eddie" in family circles. He wanted to be called "Eddie" according to teammates.
In the story on helping during the flood, one report mentioned that Waddell was the only white man helping during that episode. The flooding was in the black section in the city of Hickman, KY.
At Christmas time when Waddell lived with Cantillon a town store keeper called Cantillon to tell him that Rube was inviting everybody who passed the store to step in and get fitted for a pair of gloves. The merchant thought the Rube had gone daffy and wanted to know if he should stop him. I told him ‘no,’ to let Rube have his fun, and if he couldn’t pay for it I would. He gave away forty pair.
On a frigid February day, a boat full of duck hunters capsized on the small pond on Cantillon's property. Despite his second-degree pneumonia, Rube Waddell dove into the freezing waters to help them.
While with Milwaukee, Waddell pitched a 17-inning game and then stayed on the mound to pitch the entirety of the second game of a double header (and shut out the opposing team both games).
In an interview, Mack said ‘Rube Waddell was about as fast as Feller, not quite as fast as (Walter) Johnson. But the Rube had one of the deepest, fastest-breaking curves I’ve ever seen. Johnson’s curve ball was unimportant. Feller isn’t as fast as Johnson but he has a far better curve ball.’
These are some of the put-downs I've recorded that writers used:
Rube Waddell may have been a congenital idiot.
He had an Achilles brain.
"Peter Pan," a child's mentality trapped in a giant, powerful body.
Insane, insatiable, child-like, unpredictable alcoholic
He had an arm like Hercules and ideas like a child.
* Writers were primitive, quite rude in the old days.
Exhibition Games: Rube's defense deserted.
The game in question was played in 1903 at Steelton, Pennsylvania against that town’s YMCA team. The Athletics won easily, 10 to 2, and Waddell pitched the eighth and ninth innings for Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Inquirer said:
“Waddell was the entertaining feature of the match, and in the last inning called in all the infielders after two men were out.”
The Harrisburg Daily Independent, which provided more in-depth coverage of the game, said:
“Rube Waddell was in all his glory at Steelton yesterday and his funny antics before and during the game were well worth the price of admission.”
The paper said before the game Waddell entertained the fans chasing “flies in the hills until he was perspiring,” and spent part of the early innings taking a “nap in his private carriage which carried him from (Harrisburg) to Steelton.”
As for his time on the mound, the paper said Waddell struck out the first two batters he faced in the eighth, then after getting two strikes on the third batter, named “Irish” McManigal:
“(W)hen he pitched the third ball (he) remarked, ‘Take your seat.’ ‘Irish,’ however, surprised the Rube and rapped out a pretty single to center field.”
Waddell gave up another hit in the eighth and the YMCA scored a run.
“The next inning Rutherford hit to Waddell and the Rube did a cake walk to first base to catch Rutherford. Berry then hit to Monte Cross, but he threw wild to first and Berry reached third base. Then the Reuben settled down and struck Lawlor out.”
The Daily Independent said Waddell did not call in the fielders, but instead, on their own:
“The Athletic players behind Waddell left the field and with a man on third base he and (Ossee) Schreck (Schrecongost) were left to put out the side.
“The Rube did not know his teammates had deserted him and when told to look around by Schreck he discovered the fact. Then to make more complete the comedy Schreckengost [sic] sat down and the Rube struck out Albright while the crowd howled with merriment.”
The Harrisburg Telegraph provided a third set of contemporaneous “facts:”
“In the last inning when two men were out all the Athletics left the field except Waddell, Powers and L. Cross.”
The paper likely misidentified Schrecongost as Michael “Doc” Powers–Schrecongost had replaced him behind the plate in the eighth, and Lave Cross had already left the game–so the player who stayed on the field might have been shortstop Monte Cross. The Telegraph also added another detail missing in the other reports:
“(Waddell) gave the batter three balls and the crowd was wild, but their last hope faded rapidly away as Rube put three fine ones over the plate and the striker was out.”