Brickyard Kennedy

A prototype of all the Daffy Dodgers to come, Roaring Bill, who conversed at the top of his lungs, was a lovable, eccentric illiterate. He once left the team, misdirected by a policeman who thought Bill wanted to go home to Ohio, rather than find his way from Brooklyn to the Polo Grounds. His restaurant misadventures became legendary, as he always waited until a teammate ordered, then asked for the same, though he wasn’t always sure what he was getting. Once, when he reached the hotel dining room as the others were leaving, he asked, “Did you have a good dinner?” Told by one departing diner he had, Bill said to the waiter, “I’ll have what he had.” Later he complained to the player who had bequeathed him his dinner selection. “It was alright, except for that newfangled dessert.” Bill had encountered his first charlotte russe, served in a cardboard cone. “It was that Charley Ross, the waiter called it, the crust was so tough I could hardly eat it.”

Kennedy was a winner his first four years with Brooklyn and went 26-20 in 1893. After three losing seasons, he rebounded to go 22-8 in 1900. As a spot starter with the Pirates, he pitched in the first World Series in 1903. Up 3-1 in games, Pittsburgh pitted Kennedy against Boston’s Cy Young. They matched zeros for five innings until Pittsburgh fell apart, making four errors, losing 11-2. It was Kennedy’s last game. Boston won the next three to become World Champions.