The Chicago Cubs have a history of unique personalities, but none were quite as bizarre as the wonderfully weird Rube Waddell.
Baseball is a sport full of weird and wacky stories of insane brawls, weird promotions, and on-field antics. One of the more bizarre stories, however, is that of former Chicago Cubs pitcher George “Rube” Waddell, a Hall of Fame pitcher with enough quirks to land himself an entire episode on The Dollop podcast.
The legend of Waddell began before he even started pitching. As a young boy, it’s believed that he honed his arm by chucking stones at birds. Such an activity would not only give him an overpowering fastball, but it also led to his habit of throwing the ball at baserunners to get them out.
Waddell was utterly uneducated, though his abilities as a pitcher earned him a spot on a college team. He eventually joined the Louisville Colonels and became one of the most dominant pitchers in an era full of dominant pitchers. Waddell pitched to a career 136 ERA+ and led the league in strikeouts six times throughout his thirteen seasons in the league.