Rube! is an original play by OC Weekly theater critic Joel Beers that follows the exploits of the legendary major league baseball pitcher Rube Waddell, who pitched in the first decade of the 20th Century. Phenomenally gifted, but also wildly unpredictable, Rube put up incredible numbers in his nine seasons in the big leagues but also left an amazing number of tall tales and legends.
Some 10 years after Rube threw his last pitch, sportswriter Grantland Rice decides to interview those who knew Rube best to try to get a sense of the man behind the myth. But the more he explores Rube, the taller the legends become.
Set against the backdrop of the social agitation in America during the progressive era, Rube! charts a Zelig-like path, becoming involved in issues ranging from segregation and women’s suffrage to labor strife and immigration. The play blends fact and fiction and also includes other notable figures of the time, including Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Connie Mack and Chief Bender, as well as muckraking journalist Ida Tarbell. But it is Rube Waddell, the strangest man to ever baseball, who looms largest.
The play runs Fri-Sat., 8 p.m and Sundays at 3 p.m.