February 27, 2021

The Baseball 100: No. 39, Nap Lajoie (The Athletic)

Starting in December and ending on Opening Day, Joe Posnanski will count down the 100 greatest baseball players by publishing an essay on a player every day for 100 days. In all, this project will contain roughly as many words as “Moby Dick.” Yes, we know it’s nutty. We hope you enjoy.

So much of life is style. Napoleon “Larry” Lajoie was, in so many ways, every bit the hard-bitten character that his great nemesis Ty Cobb was. As a rookie with Philadelphia, Lajoie would repeatedly come to the ballpark inebriated. Once, after a particularly rowdy night, he got into a fight with a heckler on the way to the park and was arrested. Another time, he showed up so drunk that his manager, George Stallings, put him in the game just to humiliate him. Lajoie promptly made a two-run error, screamed at fans, got pulled from the game and was suspended for four days.

Lajoie was suspended a lot, actually. He got suspended for throwing a wad of chewing…

Read “The Baseball 100: No. 39, Nap Lajoie” at The Athletic