This man was an MLB player who played for a number of teams, both National League and American League. Although a highly skilled pitcher who played for 13 years, his behavior was unpredictable. He was easily distracted by fans in the stands when he was on the mound. He briefly played football and even had a brief stint as a soccer goalie.
Yes, Rube Waddell. More recently, some writers - and I have to agree with this - believe he was somewhere along the spectrum of being at least ADHD, possibly autistic, and at worst, mildly retarded. He didn't have much education, tho' he was considered "literate", whatever that meant. He lived at a time when children did not have "helicopter parents". For instance, he went down to the fire station and simply stayed there for a week. You know that wouldn't be tolerated in this day and age.
Opposing teams' fans took advantage of whatever was wrong with him. They learned they could distract him with teddy bears and puppies and he'd basically freeze on the mound. Heavy drinking ended his life in the long run - it probably was a tough life, in many ways.
I stumbled across him while looking for someone else, isn't that typical on the internet?