Lou Gehrig: Uncovering the Mysterious “Lou Long”

In the spring of 1922 a strapping young man stepped off the Manhattan train and into the streets of Morristown, New Jersey. The city-slicker shouldered his bag of baseball equipment and headed to Collinsville Oval where he was hired to play for the local ball club. In the scorecard he would be called “Lou Long” – in reality he was Lou Gehrig, and for the second summer in a row he was violating college rules by playing ball for money… […]

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“Wing” Maddox: The One-Armed Batting Champ

For many decades blackball historians were baffled by Maddox’s nickname of “One Wing” until the new breed of researchers uncovered contemporary newspaper articles that verified the pitcher-outfielder’s lack of a left arm. This revelation came as a surprise to many, more so when it was found that the one-armed ballplayer was the 1920 Negro Southern League batting champ! […]

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Bunny Brief: The Long Story

I figured of all the players in my Minor League Home Run Champions Series, Bunny Brief would be the easiest to research. Since the guy is co-owner of the record for most minor league home run crowns in a career (8), I had assumed that someone would have written a book, or a chapter in a book, or for God’s sake at least an extensive article on the guy – but sadly, no one has – until now. […]

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Jack Kloza: Home Runs, Mosquitos, Hats and the Rockford Peaches

Like so many of the players I write about, I found Jack Kloza while searching for something else. And, like so many of the outsiders I write about, what at first just seemed like a marginal career highlighted by a brief cup of coffee in the majors, turned out to be a very interesting tale on so many levels. I was drawn to this fella because the grainy 1936 newspaper article I found showed a guy who looked remarkably like a young Charles Bronson. […]

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Buzz Arlett: Another Babe Ruth of the Minor Leagues

Today there would never be a “Babe Ruth of the Minor Leagues.” Once a player starts making headlines in AA or AAA he’s called up before the ink dries on the sports page. However, back in the 1920’s and 30’s, it was a different game and many guys like Buzz Arlett were doomed to spend their career just shy of the big time, remembered only as another “The Babe Ruth of the Minor Leagues.” […]

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