Thursday, April 14, 2011

100 Years Dead and Never Surpassed

When I was a little kid, my family used to travel up to visit my grandparents in Dodge County. We'd go to Juneau and watch my dad play Legion ball, watch ball games with my moms' dad and play in the park. Great little town. I haven't been back in years but the thing that always stands out to me is the yearly Addie Joss Days festival. Joss grew up in Woodland, but is celebrated in Juneau. There was a Legion tournament and clowns and...well, I was a little kid so I remember it as going to a great big carnival. In reality it was probably just the tournament and some barbequing and maybe a ride or two on some years. They don't run the festival anymore and in fact, Juneau doesn't even have a Legion ball team anymore but I can trace my love of the sport, and more importantly the sports' history, to those perfect days.

Anyway, I think I post something similar every year on this date, because to me there will never be a more important baseball player than Addison Joss. Son of a cheesemaker, feller of Rube "The Ringer," and pioneer not just in baseball but in writing about the sport. Addie Joss is an important figure, a legendary figure really...sadly no one seems to remember the legend anymore. Fact is, this state has never produced a better professional athlete and I doubt it ever will. Addie Joss was an all time great and he should be celebrated throughout Wisconsin.

Do yourself a favor, read King of Pitchers.

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