The Chicken Man's drinking legacy begins & ends with a single story about the time he may (or may not) have drunk 64 beers on a cross-country roadtrip. Brought to light by an intrepid, sign-making College Gameday fan, the claim is coyly denied by Boggs himself. But the Hall of Famer's smirk in the Pardon the Interruption interview above suggests that while it may not have been a full 64, it was certainly more than the "few Miller Lites" he later claimed.
Bonus: Harry Caray
Will Ferrell's favorite fair-haired Chicago announcer wasn't technically a ballplayer, but, man, did he drink like it was a competition. Highlights include:
- Beers with Bill Murray: On August 8th, 1988 (8/8/88), something capital-I Important happened. Yes, the Cubs played their first night game at Wrigley, but who cares? This was the evening Caray opened up a broadcast by telling Murray, "This Bud's for you", and handing him an already-koozied can of beer on the air. Man, the '80s.
- The streak: Caray kept diaries that became property of his estate when he passed away in 1998. Because Chicago is a place where emotions & feelings go to freeze, though, the notebooks weren't full of his reflections. The Sun-Times reports that the 1972 diary alone documented Caray's bar outings for 288 days in a row. "I'm a convivial guy," the iconic call-man once said. "I like to drink and dance." Totally.
- The early-morning cab: Deadspin's coverage of the above story yielded a trove of Caray tales from commenters, including this one about coming home at 8am...
- The cab that wasn't a cab: ... and this one, about being too soused to realize that the "cab" he'd hailed was actually a parked police car. (The cop drove him to his destination anyway -- that's the sort of Chicagoan Caray was.)
Honorable mention (drugs!)
Because this is a family website -- You and I are family, reader. Aren't we? -- I excluded narcotic-fueled baseball fables. But that's not to say they didn't happen. For additional reading, deep-Google:
- Darryl Strawberry
- Dock Ellis
- Dwight Gooden
- Oil Can Boyd
Enjoy the stories -- I'm a firm believer that they're more enjoyable than the game itself.
Dave Infante is a senior writer for Thrillist food & drink. Want to know how much he cares about baseball? He once traded a ball signed by Joe DiMaggio for a fountain pen. So yeah: not a lot. Follow him on Twitter: @dinfontay.