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  • Paupers

    we've had threads on millionaires but what about ballplayers who ended up poor - living on the streets or off of family or the state:

    some:
    ezra sutton
    moe berg
    jim thorpe
    willie keeler
    john kerins

  • #2
    Didn't Hack Wilson die in poverty?
    "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
    Carl Yastrzemski

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    • #3
      I remember reading that Eric Show and JR Richard were homeless for a time.

      I believe that Grover Cleveland Alexander died in extreme poverty.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by bkmckenna
        we've had threads on millionaires but what about ballplayers who ended up poor - living on the streets or off of family or the state:

        some:
        ezra sutton
        moe berg
        jim thorpe
        willie keeler
        john kerins
        Wasn't Moe Berg the catcher who worked for the U.S. Government as a spy?
        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bkmckenna
          we've had threads on millionaires but what about ballplayers who ended up poor - living on the streets or off of family or the state:

          some:
          ezra sutton
          moe berg
          jim thorpe
          willie keeler
          john kerins
          Nobody 19th century player was more beloved- nor probably lived harder and higher than Michael "King" Kelly. His revelry was legendary, he was called "The $15,000 Beauty", and he was sold by Spalding for an unheard of $10,000 after the owner had enough of Kelly's boisterous antics (National League owners had supposedly fixed the salary at $2,000).

          In 1893-94 he had been working the stage, doing comedic bits for a small NY theather company. They were en route to do a show in Boston when Kelly fell ill. I've read that he was destitute at the time he contracted pnemonia, which seems incredible for someone who was baseball's affluent player- but his profligacy was eqully famous.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules
            Wasn't Moe Berg the catcher who worked for the U.S. Government as a spy?
            Yes. He might have been the most intelligent baseball player ever. I watched the hour long Sportscentury on him. Absoultely brillant man- fluent in seven languages, had degrees from Princeton and Columbia Law School and studied philosophy at the Sorbonne.

            Here's a nice tribute:

            http://espn.go.com/classic/biography/s/Berg_Moe.html

            A book I'd love to get to someday, also:

            The Catcher Was a Spy : The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg (Dawidoff)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by csh19792001
              The Catcher Was a Spy : The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg (Dawidoff)
              I read a book about Berg many years ago, I believe it was this one. I remember it being very good. I'll have to check it out again.
              Visit my card site at Mike D's Baseball Card Page.

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              • #8
                Bill...

                How bad off was Jimmie Foxx? The movie Cobb portrayed Foxx as down on his luck and almost implied he was dependent on Cobb for financial support. As our resident Cobb scholar, what can you tell us about this?

                An aside: my wife got Jimmie Foxx and Jimmie Dugan confused while watching A League of Their Own the other night. "I just can't picture Tom Hanks hitting that many home runs," she said.
                "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
                "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by csh19792001
                  Yes. He might have been the most intelligent baseball player ever. I watched the hour long Sportscentury on him. Absoultely brillant man- fluent in seven languages, had degrees from Princeton and Columbia Law School and studied philosophy at the Sorbonne.

                  Here's a nice tribute:

                  http://espn.go.com/classic/biography/s/Berg_Moe.html

                  A book I'd love to get to someday, also:

                  The Catcher Was a Spy : The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg (Dawidoff)
                  The book is great read. I've done so a couple times. Berg was strange and fascinating character. The reader begins to wonder if Berg played ball to retreat from life in some regards. He certainly didn't have the natural talent to stick around as long as he did but was kept on major league rosters for reasons that don't always seem clear.

                  As was said by a former teammate of Berg's regarding the languages Berg was fluent in... he couldn't hit in any of 'em!

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                  • #10
                    Hal Chase ended up living with his sister, before spending the final two months of his life in hospital. He had sold his scrapbooks and trophies in an attempt to make ends meet.
                    "You can't hit what you can't see" - Walter "Big Train" Johnson

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wamby View Post
                      I remember reading that Eric Show and JR Richard were homeless for a time.

                      I believe that Grover Cleveland Alexander died in extreme poverty.
                      To my knowledge , he was living modestly, but not in poverty. He was living in a boarding house in St Paul Nebraska, a pretty small town. He traveled east to attend the 1950 World Series, about a month before he died. Having lived part of my life in Nebraska, I can't imagine that the good folks there would let someone of Alex's stature endure extreme hardship.
                      This week's Giant

                      #5 in games played as a Giant with 1721 , Bill Terry

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                      • #12
                        I think Leon Wagner died in poverty as well.

                        It's probably more common for ex-athletes to end up broke than you think. I once read a Sports Illustrated article about that very subject. I'd imagine many of the guys whose lives were derailed by drugs probably ended up poor at some point.
                        Baseball Junk Drawer

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                        • #13
                          Frank Williams, who pitched from 1983 to 1989, died in poverty. Following his career, he became an alcoholic and lived on the streets. He died in 2008.

                          Win Remmerswaal, who pitched for the Red Sox in 1979 and 1980, currently lives in a nursing home in the Netherlands after suffering from double pneumonia (and slipping into a coma).

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                          • #14
                            Pete Gray is from a town near where I grew up. He did not have a lot of money when he died.

                            Fred Dunlap had a lot of money when he retired, but lost it all for a variety of reasons and died broke.

                            Pud Galvin died young and his large family was described as very poor when he passed. He had many children and his bar business was a flop.
                            Your Second Base Coach
                            Garvey, Lopes, Russell, and Cey started 833 times and the Dodgers went 498-335, for a .598 winning percentage. That’s equal to a team going 97-65 over a season. On those occasions when at least one of them missed his start, the Dodgers were 306-267-1, which is a .534 clip. That works out to a team going 87-75. So having all four of them added 10 wins to the Dodgers per year.
                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5hCIvMule0

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Brad Harris View Post
                              How bad off was Jimmie Foxx? The movie Cobb portrayed Foxx as down on his luck and almost implied he was dependent on Cobb for financial support.
                              Foxx's final season was with the Phillies in 1945. A teammate from that club told me the signing of Foxx was not to have a big name on the roster during the talent-depleted War years. He said it was strictly a charity case to give Foxx a paycheck, because he was flat broke.

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