20,000 Philadelphia Fans Cheer Rube As He Beats His Old Team Mates
BY JAMES CRUSINBERRY
PHILADELPHIA – All hats off to Rube Waddell today. He turned a trick on dear old Philadelphia that no other ball player in the world could do. He beat the home team and was cheered by 20,000 of the most loyal fans in the world.
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The remarkable part of the performance was that every man, woman and child in that immense throng was for Rube Waddell. They were willing to sacrifice victory for their team in a championship game just to see their pitcher of former years win the contract. It was Rube’s day from start to finish.
All loyalty to the Athletics was tossed to the wind when Rube Waddell, now with the Browns, was doing the pitching. The great crowd yelled with delight as Rube cut the ball over the played and fanned out the idolized hitters of the home team and the crowd cheered further when the Browns opened up a batting rally in the seventh inning.
20,000 Paid to See Rube
Rube paid for himself in one game. All by himself he drew a crowd of 20,000 persons when it is doubtful 4,000 would have attended under ordinary conditions. At least two factories closed their doors at 3:30 o’clock in the afternoon to allow the workmen to attend the game. Business down town was almost suspended. It was not to see the Browns and Athletics play ball that the people thronged the grounds. It was to see Rube pitch once more.
The game drew more than 20,000 fans, a remarkable total for the time. Without Rube, the Athletics experienced a 27 percent decrease in home attendance from 1907 to 1908 while the Browns enjoyed 48 percent increase in home attendance.