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Max Patkin
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Baseball Player
    (January 10, 1920-October 30, 1999)
    Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Nicknamed 'the Clown Prince of Baseball'
    Pitcher for the minor league Wisconsin Rapids (1941-42) and Wilkes-Barre Barons (1946)
    Frequently hired by Bill Veeck as a baseline coach/entertainer
    Appeared as himself in 'Bull Durham' (1988)
    His pitching record was a ho-hum 14-13.
    He was missing most of his teeth.
    He wore a baggy uniform to exaggerate his thinness.
    He became so depressed that 'I could not make a living in sports except through my funny appearance' that he attempted suicide (1951).
    His act was decidedly corny. ('If it was a class act, I would have been out of business a long time ago.')
    He was proud of never missing a scheduled performance.
    On the night Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, he performed for a crowd of four in Great Falls, Montana.
    The New York Times wrote that he 'made more consecutive appearances on the diamond than Cal Ripken.'
    His wife, who abused Percodan and alcohol, attacked him with a hammer while he was sleeping.
    True to his never miss a show ethos, he checked out of the hospital to attend a banquet honoring Tommy Lasorda.
    He continued performing into his 70s despite torn knee cartilege, a herniated disc and bone spurs in his feet.
    He said, 'In my heart, I would have rather been a big-league baseball player, but then I'd have never made so many people happy.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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