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September 20, 2012

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Scott Simkus

This seems to follow the classic pattern of many Negro league legends. Details have been (unnecessarily) altered to accentuate the achievement. We'd need an expert in sociology and psychology to explain why the Negro League veterans did this, but my layman's guess would have something to do with getting attention and respect from the majority. The same reason someone might drive a flashy car or wear expensive clothes.

Did Cool Papa Bell really circle the bases in 12 seconds flat? No, turns out he ran the bases in 13.3 (or thereabouts) which is not the fastest of all-time, but IS the fastest of any Hall of Famer, including Ty Cobb.

Did Grove Lewis hit three home runs in Shibe Park? No, he hit three home runs in Philadelphia's semipro ballpark.

Did Cyclone Joe Williams really strike out 20 something New York Giants in one game? No, but he did rack up figures in the mid-teens on one or two occasions.

Did Rube Foster really beat Rube Waddell and the Philadelphia Athletics? No, but it looks like he DID beat Rube Waddell and a great semipro club called the Murray Hills.

Nice work, Gary. Great research.

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