Wednesday, February 08, 2006

True/False

I made a very dangerous discovery today. Well, "I," "made," and "discovery" may not be accurate. Sinensky informed me of a website today. Actually, that isn't even true. He's mentioned it before but I only decided to check it out for myself today. "Hey guys, look...it's a rambling idiot!" Anyway, regardless of the how one describes my arrival at the site, the website is snopes.com. Have you heard of it? It's a site that address the truth of a zillion commonly heard stories about all sorts of topics. (And Groner, I'm sure I'm not the last guy on earth to check it out, so you just be quiet now please.) What's dangerous about it is I've spent about 5 hours today reading it, including the last 3 consecutively. I encourage everybody to make their way over there; after a few minutes you'll start to feel very superior to those idiots who believe everything they get in some forwarded e-mail. Until you realize it's 3:30 am and you're intently reading about the real reason why the Chevy Nova did (or didn't) flop in Latin America in the 1970s. Oh, and your life exists to write a daily baseball blog. And you've got an empty Double Gulp cup that you finished in about twenty minutes sitting on your desk. Then you'll feel inferior. Verrrry inferior.

Anyway, I thought I'd mention some of the baseball true/false things. First up: For whom is the Baby Ruth candy bar named? I hear you, "For Grover Cleveland's daughter, stupid. Only a retarded monkey thinks it was actually named for Babe Ruth." Not so fast there, son. Turns out it may well have been named for Babe Ruth after all. Grover Cleveland's daughter died 17 years before the Baby Ruth bar was made, which would make it very strange for it to have been named for her. Similarly, the story that she visited the candy factory and the owner was touched by her would be impossible. The Baby Ruth bar debuted in 1921, and it is very likely that the company intended to trade on his name (he had already become very popular and well-known). Since they didn't consult him about it, they needed some other story for the origin of the name. (Ok, who's been following along - what's Babe Ruth's b-day?...That was self-indulgent. I'm sorry.)

Lou Gehrig started his streak by replacing Wally Pipp, who had a headache. True or not? One correction to this that isn't even debatable - this didn't start Gehrig's streak; he pinch hit the previous game. Snopes doesn't say the Pipp headache thing is absolutely, undeniably false, but they come pretty close. I encourage everybody to read what they have - it's like a term paper and very well done. The basic conclusion is that Pipp lost his job as part of an effort to give playing time to Yankee prospects during a losing 1925 season (Babe Ruth was sick most of the year).

There's also a story that I hadn't heard of that Larry Doby was visibly nervous in his debut game and Joe Gordon deliberately struck out horribly to make sure Doby couldn't possibly look bad by comparison. Snopes says this is false. However, Snopes says the story of the Chasidic rebbe who deliberately spilled wine on his tablecloth so his shabbos guests would feel comfortable if they spilled something is true.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Ian said...

very interestin about Gehrig. You once again prove worthy of my reading your blog

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Ian said...
very interestin about Gehrig. You once again prove worthy of my reading your blog"

Did someone named Ian say that, or was it really the Greek uber-musician Yanni?

1:06 PM  
Blogger The Fades said...

eric i was wondering why you were awake when I got home at 3:30 am, but that mystery has now been solved.

4:43 PM  

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