I mentioned before that I like to watch Tim Wakefield. I like the knuckleball. Some say that the pitch was invented by Eddie Cicotte. Cicotte, of course, was one of the infamous Black Sox. You may have read or seen Eight Men Out. That was originally written by Eliot Asinof, a former minor league ballplayer.
John Sayles adapted the book into a movie and in it, he has a small part as Ring Lardner. Lardner was a Chicago sportswriter at the time. He also wrote stuff like You Know Me, Al and Alibi Ike. He had four sons, John, James, Ring Jr., and David. Incidentally, Hemingway was a fan and would use the pseudonym Ring Lardner Jr. when writing for his school’s paper.
The real Ring Lardner Jr. wasn’t a Black Sock, but he was part of the Hollywood Ten. We was a screenwriter for four decades and adapted the book M*A*S*H for the big screen. The film was a big breakthrough moment for director Robert Altman. It was also a highpoint of Eliott Gould’s career.
Three years later, Gould and Altman teamed up again to film The Long Goodbye. Gould was the lead in this movie; playing Philip Marlowe. Marlowe had a close friend named Terry Lennox. Lennox was played by Jim Bouton. Bouton used the knuckleball when he tried to come back as a pitcher . This is one of the major plots of his book Ball Four. He also collaborated on a piece of fiction called Strike Zone with, you guessed it, Eliot Asinof. The circle is complete.