Going Going Ghandi: The story of the major league mahatma
Anton Swoboda, Remainder Press (330 pages, illustrated)
A little known part of Mohandas “Mahatma” Ghandi’s life is carefully examined in this rollicking true story of his foray into professional baseball.
Swoboda, using recently unearthed diaries from the Mohatma pieces together this fascinating and little known chapter in the life of Ghandi.
While attending law school in London (1888) Ghandi took what was supposed to be a semester off from school to visit the United States. In an unlikely series of events that included hot air balloons, a rabid dog and Mary Todd Lincolns merkin, Ghandi wound up as the backup third baseman for the New York Giants. He was known to the fans as “Mo Gandy” and he played the hot corner for the Giants from 1888 thru 1892. He appeared in 215 games and had a batting average of .245.
Ghandi’s career ended when he ran into trouble during a game versus the Debuque Brown Shorts. He was tagged out stealing second base. Ghandi who thought he was safe refused to get up and had to be carried from the field. He called his actions “passive resistance” while the commissioners office characterized it as “drunken chicanery”. An embarrassed and disillusioned Ghandi left baseball and America.
Going Going Ghandi like Swobodas’ last book Some Are Carpenters Wives: women in Dylan’s songs , is full of rich detail and well worth a read
(The author will be giving an impromptu reading at Sullivan’s Tavern every Friday and Saturday night from 11pm until he gets asked to leave)