Big and Little Poison

Paul and Lloyd Waner, Baseball Brothers


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About the Book

The Waner brothers, Paul and Lloyd—also known as “Big Poison” and “Little Poison”—played together for fourteen seasons in the same Pittsburgh outfield in the 1920s and 1930s. More than half a century after retiring, they still rank as the best-hitting brothers in major league history with a combined 5,611 hits—517 more than the three Alou brothers, 758 more than the three DiMaggio brothers, and 1,400 more than the five Delahanty brothers. And both Waners are in the Hall of Fame, the only playing brothers so honored.
This work tells the story of the Waner brothers from their early lives in Oklahoma through their playing days, which included a World Series against the legendary 1927 New York Yankees. It is also the story of two American eras: the Roaring Twenties and the Depression years. Both put up impressive numbers individually: Paul amassed 3,152 hits, and his .333 lifetime average ranks among the highest ever in the game. Lloyd, a lifetime .316 hitter, collected 2,459 hits, and had it not been for health problems, he might have cleared the 3,000 hit milestone as well. Together, they were baseball heroes.

About the Author(s)

Clifton Blue Parker is a magazine editor at the University of California, Davis, and a former newspaper journalist and Congressional press secretary. A member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), he lives in Davis, California.

Bibliographic Details

Clifton Blue Parker
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 334
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1400-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8140-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii

Introduction     1

1 Corncob Balls and Branch Bats     7

2 Go West, Young Seal     23

3 Smoky City Blues     37

4 Roaring Baseball     42

5 Big and Little Poison     65

6 Appalachian Stomp     84

7 Rough Seas for the Pirate Ship     103

8 The Cruel Business     113

9 The Exploding Universe     127

10 The Return of the Dead Ball     136

11 Pennant Hopes and Misadventures     145

12 The Curiosity of the League     154

13 Celebrating the Common Man     161

14 The Bambino’s Last Hurrah     168

15 Hoisting the Black Flag     180

16 The Last Great One     185

17 Shadow Ball and the Gloamin’     193

18 Requiem for a Lost Season     207

19 Go Gently Into the Night     216

20 Farewell Steel City     227

21 A Hallowed Hitsmith     237

22 Wearying War Years     247

23 End of Encores     257

24 The Professor of Batting     264

25 Little Poison Goes Home     284

26 Without My Spikes     294

27 From Corncobs to Cooperstown     300

Appendix: Career Statistics     313

Sources     315

Index     323

Book Reviews & Awards

“one of the better crafted baseball bios I have read…an extremely well-written and researched biography”—The Diamond Angle.