Farewell to the 'Big Eater' - a real-life folk hero

ED BRANNON

As he lumbered toward the lefthanders' side of the batter's box with what looked like a toothpick resting on his chest and shoulder, the dance ritual began. Shortstops hurried their way into shallow centerfield. Second basemen turned and headed to short right field. Smart first basemen did the same. The not-so-smart ones prayed.

And opposing pitchers cringed with fear, knowing that 45 feet was all that stood between him and this larger-than-life behemoth.

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