The Washington Times ran my On Crime column on Allen Abel’s The Short Life of Hughie McLoon.
Veteran sportswriter, reporter, and author Allen Abel’s “The Short Life of Hughie McLoon: A True Story of Baseball, Magic, and Murder,” recounts the life of a deformed youngster who navigates through 19th-century professional baseball, boxing and organized crime in Philadelphia, my hometown.
Hughie McLoon (1902-1928) was deformed by a fall at the age of 3. He became one of the best-known mascots after he told Philadelphia Athletics manager Connie Mack in 1916 that he could break the teams’ losing streak. The legendary baseball manager hired McLoon as a bat boy and McLoon stayed with Mack for three years and then shifted to boxing, where he brought good luck to several legendary boxers.
This led to his becoming a boxing manager and a manager of a Philadelphia speakeasy during Prohibition for Max “Boo Boo” Hoff, the Philadelphia king of illegal booze.
I asked how he would describe Hughie McLoon..