"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
One of [Giants manager] John McGraw's most exasperating players was his wayward alcoholic pitcher, Arthur "Bugs" Raymond. "What a terrific spitball pitcher he was," teammate Rube Marquard recalled. "Bugs drank a lot, you know, and sometimes it seemed like the more he drank the better he pitched. They used to say he didn't spit on the ball; he blew his breath on it, and the ball would come up drunk." The limit of McGraw's patience was reached in an important 1911 game. Told to go down to the bullpen to warm up, Raymond snuck out of the Polo Grounds for a few quick drinks at a neighborhood bar. When he finally entered the game in relief, he was obviously drunk. McGraw immediately released him. Raymond drifted into poverty and despair. Separated from his wife, and with his two small daughters dead from an influenza epidemic, he was only 30 when he drank himself to death inside a seedy Chicago hotel room.Excerpted from New York Giants: A Baseball Album, by Richard Bak
He once walked the sixty feet, six inches to the pitcher's mound on his hands and when short of pocket change, traded baseballs for drinks. Once when playing for Charleston, he was reportedly seen being chauffered in a wheelbarrow while in a comatose condition by the manager of the ballclub.
In 1910, Bugs went 4-9 in 19 contests. He was forced to dodge detectives that McGraw sent to accompany him in order to keep Bugs away from the drinking establishments. When that failed, McGraw sent the money to Raymond's wife, Raymond exclaimed, "If she gets paid, let her pitch!"Excerpted from "Arthur 'Bugs' Raymond: Wry (Rye) Sense of Humor?" by Jay Gauthreaux
Read more on one of baseball history's "most colorful and eccentric players, and perhaps saddest of characters," at the Baseball Library.