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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Vincent: undefeated Bud Selig is ‘the Rocky Marciano of baseball politics’

Vincent on sports radio:

“I think he’s the Rocky Marciano of baseball politics. He’s undefeated.
....
Just imagine, guys, if Manfred and Bud left on a given day, would baseball be comfortable with Jerry Reinsdorf, whose record in this area is pretty poor? Collusion was a $280 million mistake. And Jerry was right in the middle of that.”

 

The Fallen Reputation of Billy Jo Robidoux Posted: August 13, 2014 at 11:00 AM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: commissioner's office, selig

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   1. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 13, 2014 at 11:29 AM (#4770113)
Undefeated Montreal Expos are 'the Rocky Marciano of the 1994 postseason'
   2. BDC Posted: August 13, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4770118)
Well, except for the string of getting knocked out in 1994-95.
   3. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4770125)
Uh, no.

But hey, I'm here, anyone want to discuss Marciano's place in boxing history?
   4. Ron J2 Posted: August 13, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4770145)
#2/#3 I'll buy undefeated since the strike.

Agree that Marciano is the wrong name. Maybe Tunney. High profile loss early on. With success in the rematch (and with critics of the style)

EDIT: Maybe not Tunney. Best choice is somebody who took an early fight against an opponent he wasn't ready for.

   5. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: August 13, 2014 at 12:07 PM (#4770150)
The MLBPA must've hallucinated that everybody-gets-the-same-1-year-$3-million-offer collusion settlement.
   6. BDC Posted: August 13, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4770152)
Marciano's place in boxing history?

Great but overrated nonetheless? I'm guessing, but interested in your elaborations, YR.
   7. Ron J2 Posted: August 13, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4770157)
I too would love to hear more on Marciano. I remember somebody making the point that some of Marciano's fights would have been stopped (bad cuts) these days. I've only seen pictures of the second Charles fight and can't imagine a fight being allowed to continue with bleeding as bad as that.
   8. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: August 13, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4770164)
The jury (literally?) is still out on the pugilistic MASN dispute. Hizzonerforlife is not the least bit happy about that situation and vows to see it to resolution before stepping down, assuming he really does step down. The clock is ticking, so let's hold off on the "undefeated" talk for now.
   9. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4770169)
Great but overrated nonetheless? I'm guessing, but interested in your elaborations, YR.


Pretty much. He's actually a hard guy to evaluate because he's so unique as a fighter. Here's his BoxRec page. Check out his reach - at 68 inches, it's less than that of Floyd Mayweather Jr, welterweight! No heavyweight champion ever competed with such stubby weaponry! And of course Marciano competed during an era of a very depleted heavyweight division after World War 2, against a roster of contenders that were old (Walcott), blown-up light heavyweights (Ezzard Charles and Archie Moore, both all-time great lightheavys but mediocre heavies), and most shamefully Don Cockell, a tubby guy with a thyroid problem.

Of course here's the thing - the heavyweight ranks have been thin before, and they've been thin since. When a great fighter competes in a weak field you expect him to run through it and that's what Marciano did. Even an undistinguished field of contenders can be awfully dangerous to an undefeated record, as Buster Douglas can attest. So he has that going for him. Also, Marciano may have been the best conditioned heavyweight since the great Jim Jeffries himself; you can literally take any round of his fights with Ezzard Charles or Roland LaStarza or the 13 rounder with Walcott, and you could never tell where you were in the fight based on Marciano's output. The man had boundless stamina and a ferocious offensive output and could literally beat his opponents into submission simply with volume - and he hit damn hard on top of that volume. In the LaStarza fight he famously pounded LaStarza's arms until they were completely swollen and useless, before getting to his chin. Archie Moore, Marciano's last opponent and one of the smartest, most seasoned fighters in the history of the sport ( check out his BoxRec) said after his fight with Marciano that he had been sure that this crude plodder would be easy pickings for a man of his legendary abilities, but he found Marciano's frenetic style made him remarkably hard to hit cleanly, and that everything Marciano threw hurt, no matter where it landed.

So I'd sum up my analysis thusly - I'm a guy who believes in the concept of singular talents, individual competitors who are uniquely superior in certain sports or areas of sport and whose performance offers no precedent for evaluating anyone else. Marciano was a singularly tough, durable, awkward fighter, and anyone around his size was in for nothing but hot buttered hell over 15 rounds. I think he'd wear down many great heavyweights and lay them out. But against any of the larger, more experienced technical heavyweights - from Joe Louis to Ali to Larry Holmes to the Klitschkos - would keep Marciano on the end of a jab and cut him to ribbons. Everyone remembers the end of the Walcott fight and the Charles fight, but they'd do well to remember that Marciano was well behind in both before his power and stamina got to their older, smaller heavyweights.

I don't rank Marciano in the top-10 all-time heavyweights. He's a freak, like Bob Fitzsimmons, and may even be underrated by some for many reasons, but ultimately he has more in common historically with someone like Evander Holfield or Mike Tyson, flawed but spectacular champions worthy of respect, than with the true all-time greats.
   10. Srul Itza Posted: August 13, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4770170)
anyone want to discuss Marciano's place in boxing history?


I would love to hear anything you have to say on the subject. Nobody talks boxing any more, it seems.

ETA: Thanks

EATA: "I don't rank Marciano in the top-10 all-time heavyweights." So who makes that cut?
   11. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: August 13, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4770180)
Archie Moore, Marciano's last opponent and one of the smartest, most seasoned fighters in the history of the sport ( check out his BoxRec) said after his fight with Marciano that he had been sure that this crude plodder would be easy pickings for a man of his legendary abilities, but he found Marciano's frenetic style made him remarkably hard to hit cleanly, and that everything Marciano threw hurt, no matter where it landed.

Thanks, YR. I'm sure you've read this already, but for those who haven't: A.J. Liebling's piece on the Moore-Marciano fight is a must-read (and is currently available for free in the New Yorker archives). The rest of his boxing pieces are just as good, even if (like me) you don't usually have much interest in the sport.
   12. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4770183)
Agree that Marciano is the wrong name. Maybe Tunney. High profile loss early on. With success in the rematch (and with critics of the style)


FWIW, Harry Greb (the man who beat Tunney you refer to) almost assuredly won at least one of the rematches (the first rematch, whose decision NY State Athletic Commissioner William Muldoon declared "unjust") and probably another (the 4th fight in Cleveland, which the local papers almost unanimously judged for Greb). But the fact that Tunney legitimately and clearly won even two of his meeting with Greb should be enough to cement his status as an all-time great, as Harry Greb was, for my money, the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in boxing history.
   13. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4770194)
Thanks, YR. I'm sure you've read this already, but for those who haven't: A.J. Liebling's piece on the Moore-Marciano fight is a must-read (and is currently available for free in the New Yorker archives). The rest of his boxing pieces are just as good, even if (like me) you don't usually have much interest in the sport.

YR, what are your favorite "literary" works on boxing? Mine would be Liebling's The Sweet Science and A Neutral Corner, and John Lardner's White Hopes and Other Tigers, which is relatively unknown but still a great read.
   14. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:13 PM (#4770196)
It's a shame that nobody in Pittsburgh remembers Greb anymore, because he was a hell of a fighter.
   15. The Good Face Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:17 PM (#4770199)
He's a freak, like Bob Fitzsimmons,


Speaking of Fitzsimmons, where did that spectacular power come from? I've seen pictures of the man, and physically he was nothing special to look at, even by the standards of the day. I mean, a guy like Jim Jeffries was strong as hell and looked it, but not so much Fitzsimmons. Did he have great punching technique, or was he just one of those freaky guys who somehow possess immense strength even though they don't look particularly strong?
   16. BDC Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:26 PM (#4770210)
Yes, thanks, YR: always worth coming to a thread when you get to talk boxing.
   17. Moeball Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4770336)
Well, except for the string of getting knocked out in 1994-95.


Hmm. Just considering the irony of Fay Vincent praising Selig. Given that Selig was an owner, and the owners pulled the coup to oust Vincent as Commish, largely because Vincent had a bad habit of telling owners things they did not wish to hear. Then the owners made Selig the new Weasel for Life knowing full well he would not tell them things they did not wish to hear because he had the same basic interests as they did (namely, GREED).

It is fitting that Selig's true calling in life has been as a used car salesman, deserving of every loathesome image that moniker brings to mind. It's not coincidence that his most well-known initials are BS.

As a boxing reference, it is not Marciano that Selig brings to mind. No, the much more appropriate analogy is Jake LaMotta. Selig could be bought for a price, that was clearly evident from day 1. And all the owners had a lot of coin riding on his ability to dive. He has represented them quite well in that regard.



   18. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4770349)
Speaking of Fitzsimmons, where did that spectacular power come from? I've seen pictures of the man, and physically he was nothing special to look at, even by the standards of the day.


Fitz was a blacksmith. You say he was nothing special to look at, but I'm guessing you aren't looking at it from the right angle.

Front Fitz. Just your regular healthy young fella, nothing to catch you attention.

Back Fitz. Look at that back. Look at those shoulders. This was a man who could swing a 6lb hammer for 12 hours. Fitzsimmons was considered such an anatomical oddity, those huge, rippled shoulders on an otherwise unremarkable body, that he was the impetus for boxing's "Tale of the Tape" (the routine measurement of various anatomical metrics before a fight). I don't have that information handy right now, but if you look at the Tales of the Tape of heavyweight champions from Fitzsimmons forward you'll see that his torso was massive, on par with many moderns, and his legs mere pipestems.

Secondly, Fitzsimmons is a very, very special test case because his career spanned both bare-knuckle and small-glove eras. As such, he learned how to box using the bare-knuckle methods which emphasized targeted striking to safe areas in order to minimize the risk of broken hands. When he transitioned to small gloves, he maintained that technical approach, combined with a wonderful sense of timing and great natural power. His KO record is absolutely remarkable, and reading first-hand accounts of his bouts typically mention his killing blows being to the neck, or the liver, or of course the famous solar plexus punch with which he laid out Gentleman Jim Corbett to win the title.

Fitzsimmons also wrote an amazing book, "Physical Culture and Self Defense" that discusses many of these topics in detail. I scanned my copy for ease of reference, anyone who'd like to flip through it is welcome to drop me a line for a copy.
   19. Ron J2 Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4770369)
I love the world we live in! I'd only seen pictures of Marciano's face from the Charles fight (just after the KO -- he looked a mess) and wondered what it looked like while the fight was going. Yup, youtube has Marciano/Charles II

No way that fight would have been stopped today.
   20. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4770373)
It's a shame that nobody in Pittsburgh remembers Greb anymore, because he was a hell of a fighter.


The real shame - the greatest of shames from a historical perspective - is that not a single frame exists of Greb fighting, despite the fact that we know several of his most significant bouts, including at least two of the Tunney fights and his middleweight brawl with Mickey Walker, were indeed filmed and those films exhibited across America. The last reputable sighting of Greb footage is in the 1950s.

This is enormously vexing for two main reasons: one, as mentioned above, in my estimation and in that of more than a few other historians, Harry Greb was the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in the history of the sport. Despite the lack of footage we can look at his record, which is stuffed with one-sided wins over legitimate elite fighters of his era for whom we do have film, and Greb's greatness is guaranteed. Two, first-hand accounts of Greb in the ring paint a picture of a fighter unlike any other, an absolutely torrent of frenetic energy and violence unlike anything ever seen before or since. Greb was so fast and durable that he actually served as a primary sparring partner for heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey on two occasions (and gave Jack hell). Dempsey, the fastest heavyweight the division saw until a young Cassius Clay broke on the scene, was awed by Greb. "[Greb is] the fastest fighter I ever saw. Hell, Greb is faster than [lightweight champion] Benny Leonard." Gene Tunney, arguably the best light-heavyweight champion ever and a beautiful technical fighter with unquestioned toughness, said, "He was never in one spot for more than half a second! All my punches were aimed and timed properly but they always wound up hitting empty air. He'd jump in and out, slamming me with a left and whirling me around with his right or the other way around. My arms were plastered with leather and although I jabbed, hooked and crossed, it was like fighting an octopus."

Of course my favorite Greb-related quote comes from a lesser opponent, Irish Pat Walsh, who said, "I thought somebody had opened up the ceiling and dumped a carload of boxing gloves on me."

What I wouldn't give to see this with my own eyes! Somewhere out there in a musty attic lays the great treasure of fistiana! Start looking!
   21. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4770391)
Thanks, YR. I'm sure you've read this already, but for those who haven't: A.J. Liebling's piece on the Moore-Marciano fight is a must-read (and is currently available for free in the New Yorker archives). The rest of his boxing pieces are just as good, even if (like me) you don't usually have much interest in the sport.


Boxing used to attract the very best in sportswriting and it's easy to see why. The narratives for bouts, the single competition, the colorful characters and violent ends, all lend themselves to memorable depictions and the sort of thematic underpinnings that make great fiction writing. This Liebling piece is so damn good. Jack London covered fights for the San Francisco Chronicle for years and I wish someone would compile those columns with some relevant historical background because they are delightful, I have scans of many papers from that era and London's writing always keeps me enthralled. My favorite was his ringside coverage of the title fight between champion James Jeffries and challenger Gus Ruhlin in which Ruhlin, all bombast and stoicism before the fight, literally begged off to the referee after 4 rounds with the California Colossus. London's contempt was deliciously withering. I need to find this to share, it's a hoot.
   22. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4770401)
Two, first-hand accounts of Greb in the ring paint a picture of a fighter unlike any other, an absolutely torrent of frenetic energy and violence unlike anything ever seen before or since.


It's not actually fight footage, but there's a clip of Greb shadowboxing here, and of him sparring with Jack O'Brien here. You can at least get a sense of his energy and mobility from those.
   23. The Good Face Posted: August 13, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4770414)
Fitz was a blacksmith. You say he was nothing special to look at, but I'm guessing you aren't looking at it from the right angle.


I'd known he was a blacksmith, but I hadn't seen the "buff" Fitz photo before; yeah, he looks a lot more muscular from the back/side. I'm guessing most of his power came from his right hand? His right forearm is noticeably thicker and more developed than his left, probably from his time spent smithing?
   24. Ron J2 Posted: August 13, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4770416)
#21 Of course the problem with getting a collection of London's boxing columns published is that some of the stuff he wrote WRT to Jack Johnson is just not something most people want their name tied to.
   25. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 06:49 PM (#4770526)
It's not actually fight footage, but there's a clip of Greb shadowboxing here, and of him sparring with Jack O'Brien here. You can at least get a sense of his energy and mobility from those.


Yeah but that footage sucks. It isn't even quality sparring, O'Brien is around 50 here, they're just dicking around. Supposedly two minutes existed of Greb sparring with Dempsey in 1920 as Jack prepared to defend against Billy Miske, that was supposed to be a real corker.
   26. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 07:28 PM (#4770560)
EATA: "I don't rank Marciano in the top-10 all-time heavyweights." So who makes that cut?


Ranking the all-timers is a big deal in boxing circles, bigger than in baseball for sure. Most baseball fans, even those with a historical bent, really won't care if you rank Tris Speaker over Ken Griffey Jr, but drop Muhammad Ali below Joe Louis and boxing folks lose their mind.

In no particular order, I consider the following to be the greatest heavyweight champions in boxing history, using a combination of head-to-head ability and historical performance:

Joe Louis
Muhammad Ali
Larry Holmes
Jack Dempsey
George Foreman
Vitali Klitschko
Jack Johnson
James Jeffries
Joe Frazier

The last spot goes to either Lennox Lewis or Evander Holyfield, two flawed but occasionally brilliant modern heavyweights. Holyfield was juiced to the gills, so that's a pretty significant knock against him. Lewis got stopped twice in his prime by mediocrities but was otherwise a very intimidating and dangerous fighter who would present an awful matchup for almost anyone.

From 11-15 you get the loser of Holyfield/Lewis, plus Sonny Liston, Sam Langford, Ken Norton, and Marciano. Wlad Klitschko has an argument here too, he's so impressive when he's on but I saw both his KO losses to journeymen live, it's hard to block that out in evaluating him.
   27. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 14, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4771065)
#21 Of course the problem with getting a collection of London's boxing columns published is that some of the stuff he wrote WRT to Jack Johnson is just not something most people want their name tied to.


That really wasn't all that much, or at least I would say I haven't read all that much from London that would be particularly worrisome reading. Of course he's most famous for THIS column written from his ringside perch covering the Jack Johnson v. Tommy Burns fight from Australia in 1908 which began, "There was no fight. No Armenian massacre would compare with the hopeless slaughter that took place in the Sydney stadium today," and just kept going from there, famously concluding with, "But one thing now remains. Jim Jeffries must now emerge from his alfalfa farm and remove that golden smile from Jack Johnson's face. Jeff, it's up to you. The White Man must be rescued."

London's subsequent coverage of the lead-up to that historic fight in 1910 was quite measured as I recall. Surely London, who remembered the real Jeffries, the impenetrable beast that wiped the heavyweight division clean, must have know upon seeing the older Jeff's training that nothing good would come out of that fight. The champion Jeffries wasn't coming back, even after the thick mantle of flab was burned off through training. You can see Jeff's training footage on YouTube and it's a brutal, depressing affair when compared to his 1904 training footage. The timing, the explosiveness, the massive power was all gone, it's entirely obvious, moreso than even watching old Ali go through the motions preparing for Larry Holmes.
   28. Ron J2 Posted: August 14, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4771087)
#27 I struggled to write that because ... well there was plenty that was worse out there. Notwithstanding that, the stuff on Burns/Johnson is not a pleasant read (and there's no point in not including it in any collection of this nature)

The fact remains that if anybody puts together a Jack London on boxing, they're going to be spending a lot of time defending themselves as a booster of racist writing. I for one have no problem seeing why nobody would go there.

Maybe the key would be to write a forward that explicitly addresses Ken Burns (you just know it's his stuff that will pop up)

But yeah, I've read some of London's stuff on boxing and it's all that you'd expect when a quality writer writes on a subject close to his heart. I would read any collection somebody else put together.

Also, what do you think of the allegations that the fight was initially intended to be fixed. (and that Jeffries knew he couldn't win an on the level fight at that point in his life) I know it doesn't seem implausible to me, but there's something about the way the story is told that doesn't ring true.
   29. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 14, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4771120)
Boxing used to attract the very best in sportswriting and it's easy to see why. The narratives for bouts, the single competition, the colorful characters and violent ends, all lend themselves to memorable depictions and the sort of thematic underpinnings that make great fiction writing. This Liebling piece is so damn good. Jack London covered fights for the San Francisco Chronicle for years and I wish someone would compile those columns with some relevant historical background because they are delightful, I have scans of many papers from that era and London's writing always keeps me enthralled. My favorite was his ringside coverage of the title fight between champion James Jeffries and challenger Gus Ruhlin in which Ruhlin, all bombast and stoicism before the fight, literally begged off to the referee after 4 rounds with the California Colossus. London's contempt was deliciously withering. I need to find this to share, it's a hoot.

I don't know whether anyone's mentioned W. C. Heinz's The Fireside Book of Boxing, but that's one that's definitely up there.
   30. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 14, 2014 at 08:36 PM (#4771411)
The fact remains that if anybody puts together a Jack London on boxing, they're going to be spending a lot of time defending themselves as a booster of racist writing.


Stuff like this?

"A big dark male, hairy of chest and of body in one corner; in the other corner a big light male, smooth of skin and serious of face; overhead an artificial sun, and all around ten myriads or more of spectators; problem - which male, dark or light, and for a king's ransom, can beat the other into insensibility or helplessness...and the dark male smiled - not viciously, not insolently, not vaingloriously, just simply smiled and smiled and fought. He was dark of skin and remained dark. It seemed natural, the thing he was doing. But the fair skin of the light male flushed and blushed to a crimson tide which seemed to mark his conduct as unnatural. It was patent that one was a fighter and one was not, and it was patent that one would win, and the other would not."


An ode to the animalistic and pugilistic nature of the Negro? No, London's description of a meeting between Jim Jeffries and Gus Ruhlin (Jeffries, an outdoorsman, was frequently sunburned). Part of the problem you speak of is that London frequently discussed fighters in animalistic terms, but that was across the board and very common in coverage of the day. Jack Dempsey was routinely described as a jungle beast, a wildman, a savage, which vexed him greatly, but to use the exact same language to describe Sam Langford would be wrongly viewed by many moderns as racist in nature when it wasn't.

Also, what do you think of the allegations that the fight was initially intended to be fixed. (and that Jeffries knew he couldn't win an on the level fight at that point in his life) I know it doesn't seem implausible to me, but there's something about the way the story is told that doesn't ring true.


No way in hell. Jeffries was a man who spent his whole life putting his mind to things and then doing them successfully. Nobody in their right mind would think a man could retire from fighting, bloat up to near 300lb, and train down to fighting trim and resume dominance, but when was Jeffries ever cowed by the limitations of mere men? As a mere greenhorn Jeffries was thrown in the ring with a vastly more experienced and extremely dangerous fighter, the veteran Negro Hank Griffin, and it was a lead-pipe cinch that Jeffries was as good as finished as soon as the bell rang (Griffin's BoxRec is known to be severely incomplete as he had many early fights in Texas where recordkeeping was notoriously awful; newspaper reports at the time credited him with some 30+ bouts). Instead, Jeffries took everything the cagey Griffin had to throw at him and kept coming until he knocked him senseless in 14 rounds. This was a huge upset and vaulted Jeffries to significant notoriety in California, where he was fighting top-ranked contenders within the year.

In Jeffries' 7th pro fight, he went 20 rounds with one of the most skilled and violent hitters of the age, Joe Choynski. In his 9th fight he dispatched Aussie Peter Jackson, the man John L Sullivan refused to fight and who had gone a remarkable 61 rounds with Gentleman Jim Corbett, in a mere 3 rounds. And in his 13th fight he found himself in the ring with the deadliest hitter of the age, the fearsome Fitzsimmons himself, and walked through every haymaker and neck-stretcher the great Fitz had to offer before beating the battered Kiwi into the canvas to win the world title.

Jeffries traveled the country and overseas taking on all comers in exhibitions without a hiccup, and wrestled against the acknowledged Gerco-Roman master of the era, Ernest Roeber, holding his own. There was nothing he put his mind to that he didn't accomplish in grand style, and there is no doubt in my mind that Jeffries believed he could resume training and re-enter the ring with the same confidence and boundless ability that had allowed him to retire undefeated 5 years earlier - a retirement made not out of deference to declining skill, but literally out of boredom with the lack of credible opposition and a desire to settle down with his new wife and begin a new life as a gentleman farmer.

And despite his visibly terrible training camp Jeffries' confidence continued even into the fight against Johnson; after round 6 he remarked to his corner, "My arms won't work, but just give me time and I'll be all right." He still thought it inevitable that the old vigor would return, as it always did. But there were no more miracles of vitality left in old Jeff's body that day. The Jeffries of old, widely know as the pinnacle of pulchritude the land over, was gone for good.
   31. Bunny Vincennes Posted: August 14, 2014 at 09:26 PM (#4771452)
ok at that back. Look at those shoulders. This was a man who could swing a 6lb hammer for 12 hours. Fitzsimmons was considered such an anatomical oddity, those huge, rippled shoulders on an otherwise unremarkable body,


Hack Wilson had a similar back story, he worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad swinging a hammer to knock home drive rods on steam locomotives. "He had a chest like a whiskey barrel and was not unfamiliar with the contents."

Edited to add "not."
   32. asinwreck Posted: August 14, 2014 at 09:53 PM (#4771464)
Peter Jackson, the man John L Sullivan refused to fight and who had gone a remarkable 61 rounds with Gentleman Jim Corbett
That explains the length of The Hobbit.
   33. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 14, 2014 at 10:12 PM (#4771486)
Those Hobbit movies are unwatchable.
   34. Howie Menckel Posted: August 14, 2014 at 11:34 PM (#4771543)
Forget about Zelig or Forrest Gump.

I went to college with a guy and visited his home, and his mom pointed to a picture on the wall of good friend Rocky Marciano more than 10 years after the tragedy - and she choked up trying to describe him.

And decades later I interviewed an octogenarian who remembered as a boy (and all the facts confirmed) selling papers on a Newark street corner of the Dempsey-Tunney fight result, and getting an insane $1 tip from a 1-percenter.

I truly pity fiction writers.....
   35. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 06:32 AM (#4771586)
I assume everyone is aware of the legendary Marciano v. Muhammad Ali Superfight?

Here's some background .

Ali was asked about Marciano some years later on Wide World of Sports:

"Ooh he hit hard … But I truly think on my best day and his best day I would have beaten him, probably not knocked him out. I think he was better than Joe Frazier, put it that way. And you know what Joe Frazier did to me.

"He wasn't as great as me, he wasn't as beautiful as me – everybody know that. But I don't know whether I could have beaten him with his style of boxing. He could have outpointed me, he could have knocked me down. I did a computer fight with him when he was an old man and just pretending and my arms were sore just from joking with him."

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