Weird History

The Strange Story Of Rube Waddell, The Legendary Pitcher Who Left Baseball Games To Chase Firetrucks  

Rebecca High

In the early days of professional baseball, strikeouts were rare. Athletics pitcher George Edward "Rube" Waddell made a name for himself by being one of the few to do it on the regular. Those who knew him admitted that this genius of the mound came with some eccentricities.

Born in 1876, the Southpaw pitcher got his MLB start with the Louisville Colonels and the Pittsburgh Pirates before eventually completing his career on the Philadelphia Athletics and the St. Louis Browns.

He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946. Despite his prowess on the diamond, Waddell was unpredictable and a reported alcoholic for most of his adult life. He got into all sorts of weird adventures, including alligator wrestling.

This is a man who could not finish an inning if a dog in the stands caught his attention or a fire truck screamed by on the street. He's the man who threw baseball's first "immaculate inning," and the full extent of his eccentricity isn't clear until you watch this remarkable video.