The Human Splinter
Cubs second-baseman John Evers had the metabolism of a hummingbird, the temperament of a wolverine, and a near-pathological need to win baseball games. Known as “The Crab” or “The Human Splinter” in his playing days, Johnny Evers wasn’t a very popular guy. At 5’ 9”, 125 lbs., he assiduously subscribed to the maxim of “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
Because Evers fought – physically, verbally, and psychologically – every time he stepped onto the field. He fought for every hit, every stolen base, and every deftly turned double play. He fought with opponents, with teammates, and especially with umpires. A live wire of frayed nerves and inexhaustible energy, Evers was more than willing to instigate mayhem to gain an advantage on the field. He could start a bench-clearing brawl with a gesture, and these weren’t the choreographed slow dances that pass for on-field brawls today; these could be brutal scraps fought with intent. He was constantly ejected from games, and regularly suspended.