Rube Waddell was a lot of things. He was an alcoholic who was easily distracted, likely suffered from mental disability, and, by his own account, lost track of how many women he'd married.
Of course, he also was one of the most dominant pitchers in Major League History.
Waddell's fastball was one of the best in baseball during the early 20th century. While he reached the Major Leagues at 20, he didn't establish himself for a few years.
In 1900, despite spending much of the season in semi-pro baseball due to conflicts with management, Waddell led the league in ERA at just 23 years old.
For the 1902 season, he signed with the Philadelphia A's. Starting that year, Waddell led the AL in strikeouts six years in a row. He won 20 games his first four seasons as an Athletic, and 1904 he set an American League record for strikeouts by a left-hander that still stands: 349.
The following season, Waddell won 27 games, struck out 287 batters, and posted a 1.48 ERA. All led the league, giving him baseball's Triple Crown.
Illness cut his career, and later his life, short in his early 30s. He finished with fewer than 200 wins but an ERA+ of 135.