New York Giants|
A Baseball Album
by Richard Bak
Arcadia Publishing, 1999 | ISBN: 0-7385-0337-1
BOOZY BUGS | One of 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.
Copyright © 1999 by Richard Bak. Excerpted with permission.