Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Whatever Happened to "Super Joe"?

If you're interested in finding out whatever happened to Joe Charboneau and 44 other Cleveland Indians from the bad old days of 1955-1994, there's a book for you.

Whatever Happened to "Super Joe"? was written by northeast Ohio author Russell Schneider, and a lengthy excerpt from the Joe Charboneau chapter can be found here. The excerpt contains a meta-moment in which Charboneau talks about a quickie biography that was written about him during his rookie of the year season:

"I was never a big fan of that Super Joe stuff," said the one-time Super Joe. "In fact, I was kind of surprised the first time I heard it."

A book, titled Super Joe: The Life and Legend of Joe Charboneau, followed. It was co-written by sportswriters Burt Graeff and Terry Pluto, who covered the Indians for The Cleveland Press (now defunct) and The Plain Dealer, respectively.

Charboneau said the book is an "easy read with plenty of fun stuff in it, though a lot of the stories are only minimally true, some are greatly exaggerated, and others were never true to begin with."

Charboneau attributes their source to "buddies of mine who came in from California, got to drinking beer with some of the writers, and made up a lot of stuff."

Among the anecdotes: Charboneau opened beer bottles with his eye socket, ate cigarettes, drank beer with a straw through his nose, and once pulled an aching tooth and fixed his broken nose with a pair of pliers - and a shot of whiskey.

"It was all crazy stuff, but the truth is, I did get a lot of play from them. Every city I went to, the stories got bigger and bigger, and even different," he said.

A real life Bill Brasky.

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