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Tubby Spencer Newsbeat

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-16-2017

Dugout favorite Tubby Spencer is a changed man!

Pittsburgh Press, May 16, 1917:

Nobody has ever won a decision from “Old King Booze,” according to Spencer.

“I’ve tried his game, and I know,” remarked Spencer, “You may think you are getting away with his delivery, but in the end he will always strike you out.”
...
When [Spencer] left the sanitarium, the physician in charge told him that a drink would kill him. “I wondered whether it would or not, but I waited a week to find out, then I got drunk…Later I went to the coast, but I wouldn’t stay sober, and the first thing I knew I was working in a northern mining camp for a couple of dollars a day.

“One day I sat down and began to take an inventory of myself. I found I was making less money in a year than I could make playing ball in a month…Then I quit drinking, haven’t touched it since, never will.

Tubby fought his way back to the major leagues, spending 1916-1918 with the Tigers and hitting .249/.336/.324 (101 OPS+) as a backup catcher.

I’ve written about Spencer in the past, but the short version is that he was a millionaire’s kid with a drinking problem who wore out his welcome pretty much everywhere. He got banned from the city of Louisville, dove through a plate glass window into a restaurant because he was drunk and hungry, and according to some sources literally became a hobo. Somehow he fought off the demons and played pro baseball at a high level into his 40s. Nice work, Tubby.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 16, 2017 at 10:30 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, tubby spencer

 

 

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